Which Newcastle players do you think deserve to be in a north east team of the year, based on last season?
Bit of a tricky one, as you have the teams that finished 19th, 20th and 21st in England – but Middlesbrough & Sunderland relegated from the Premier League, whilst Newcastle promoted as champions.
So one team of players successful but playing in a division lower.
Writing for the Teesside Gazette, Middlesbrough journalist Jonathon Taylor has picked his best north east eleven of the past 12 months.
The side selected consists of five from Middlesbrough, four Newcastle players, and two from Sunderland.
As well as the four Newcastle players selected, the Boro journalist says there were also near misses for DeAndre Yedlin, Paul Dummett, Jamaal Lascelles, Yoan Gouffran, Isaac Hayden and Dwight Gayle.
I think three are pretty obvious choices but one of the Newcastle selections if surprising…
Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford (Sunderland)
Right-back: Calum Chambers (Boro)
He’s recently headed back to Arsenal, but just edges out Newcastle’s DeAndre Yedlin for the right-back jersey after a fruitful loan spell at the Riverside this season.
The 22-year-old played his best football at centre-back alongside Ben Gibson, but his versatility means he can shift across
Centre-back: Ciaran Clark (Newcastle)
A Geordie toss-up with Jamaal Lascelles, but former Aston Villa defender Clark just gets the nod after playing an understated role in Newcastle’s promotion back to the top-flight.
The 27-year-old was arguably the Magpies’ Player of the Season following his move from Aston Villa last summer, making 36 appearances for Rafa Benitez’s side.
Centre-back: Ben Gibson (Boro)
Left-back: Fabio (Boro)
A tough one with Paul Dummett having been a regular at St James’ Park, but Brazilian flyer Fabio probably just makes it into the team – by a whisker.
Right midfield: Matt Ritchie (Newcastle)
An easy one on the flank – the former Bournemouth man ended the campaign with 16 goals on Tyneside after an eye-catching year.
With a wand of a left foot, he offers a creative spark and a goalscoring threat – something Boro will inevitably be searching for in the summer transfer window over the coming weeks.
Central midfield: Adam Clayton (Boro)
The other contenders would probably be Sunderland’s Didier N’Dong and Newcastle’s Isaac Hayden, but a consistent Premier League campaign may just give the Boro man the edge.
Central midfield: Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle)
Probably the Magpies’ most influential player who ended the season with five goals and eight assists.
His range of passing is well-documented, and his importance was showcased while serving a five-game ban after being found guilty of using racially abusive language. In his absence, Newcastle won two of their five games.
Left midfield: Christian Atsu (Newcastle)
The 25-year-old spent the season on loan from Chelsea, and made a decent impression during the season – chipping in with five goals.
The Ghanaian probably just edges out livewire Adama Traore due to his end product, with former Boro target Yoan Gouffran perhaps unfortunate to miss out too.
Striker: Jermain Defoe (Sunderland)
Striker: Alvaro Negredo (Boro)
Alvaro Negredo ended the season with 10 goals for Boro – a decent tally, given his lack of service.
Just gets in ahead of Newcastle forward Dwight Gayle, who ended the season with 23 goals in the second-tier.
Victor Valdes, Jamaal Lascelles, DeAndre Yedlin, Didier Ndong, Marten de Roon, Adama Traore, Dwight Gayle
A bit surprising that Christian Atsu made it into the team above, considering he couldn’t get into the Newcastle side (15 Championship starts) most of the time!
Maybe Rafa Benitez can use the above as a bit of a shopping list, as Middlesbrough do appear to have a few players, especially in defence and midfield that could be major assets for Newcastle next season.
Who would get in your north east eleven?