With relegation now all but a formality I think it is worthwhile to take a look at the first team squad and see which Newcastle players might be around for the away trips to Rotherham, and who expects to be plying their trade at a higher level.
Tim Krul – Unfortunately injured and therefore perhaps unsellable. Staying
Rob Elliot – Same situation as Tim Krul. Staying
Karl Darlow – The third choice is now the first choice, and looks like remaining so as we start next season. Staying
Daryl Janmaat – Supposedly already looking for the exit door (according to the Dutch National coach), he’ll be off like a shot, probably for less than we paid for him. Going
Steven Taylor – Good old Saylor is as thick as mince, but a loyal servant. Unfortunately for him though he is in the last year of his contract and will find that if he wants to stick around then his pocket money is going to get severely reduced, if they want to keep him. Going
Jamaal Lascelles – Will look more at home in the Championship. Staying
Fabricio Coloccini – Still a year left on his (extended) contract, hopefully though his plane tickets are still already booked, his case is packed and he’ll be back in Argentina before last orders are called on relegation day. Going (I hope)
Chancel Mbemba – Tough one, and might possibly stick around due to his age, transfer fee and the fact that a season in the Championship is unlikely to damage his International ambitions. I think that, like a few others, Mbemba’s future will be decided by how much money a club is willing to pay for him, and how much of a fire sale Mike Ashley is planning on having. Going (maybe)
Paul Dummett – Will be playing Rotherham next season. Staying
Massadio Haidara – Will be in the treatment room next season. Staying
Vurnon Anita – Can’t see anyone paying “Little Vern” anywhere near what he earns now, he will be playing Rotherham next season. Staying
Jack Colback – Will be playing Rotherham next season. Staying
Andros Townsend – Supposedly he has no relegation clause, and as nobody is going to give us remotely close to £12m for him we are left with the choice of keeping him or loaning him out. I suspect he will be playing Rotherham next season. Staying
Jonjo Shelvey – Exactly the same situation as Townsend other than he is probably a more attractive transfer for promoted clubs and lower Premier League Clubs, 50/50 where he will be next season. Staying (maybe)
Siem de Jong – Shocking injury record over last two seasons. (Staying)
Henri Saivet – Will be on the bench against Rotherham next season. Staying
Yohan Gouffran – One year left, not required. Going (I hope)
Gabriel Obertan – Out of contract, not required. Going
Sylvian Marveaux – Out of contract, not required. Going
Rolando Aarons – Out of contract, doubt he’ll sign a new one. Going
Cheick Tiote – Off to China for 20p and a pickled egg. Going
Papiss Cisse – Off to the Middle East for 50p and 2 pickled eggs. Going
Ayoze Perez – This one is going to hurt, but he’ll be sold for a decent amount of money. Going
Moussa Sissoko – Should take the first opportunity that comes his way to bolt, but because of his seemingly inflated sense of self-importance I suspect he will wait for one of Europe’s “Big” teams to get in contact, unless it looks like they won’t, then he might find himself at Stoke. Going
Alexandar Mitrovic – I think Mitro will want to stay, but I also think that his dad is a fruit loop and will probably tout his son all over Europe and that could decide that one. Staying
Gini Wijnaldum – A bit of an enigma for me. Undoubtedly he will want to leave, but he earns a lot of money and I doubt Newcastle would sell him on the cheap, so it depends on his attitude and how much clubs are willing to pay for him, but I am fairly sure he’ll be gone. Going
Emmanuel Riviere – Looking forward to getting a game at Rotherham. Staying
Seydou Doumbia – End of loan period, waste of time. Going
Onto the players on loan….
Florian Thauvin – Has made some odd noises about sticking around and wanting to “prove himself” in England. Staying
Remy Cabella – Should seal a permanent move. Going
Adam Armstrong – Will be a much better player for his season at Coventry and could be a real asset next season. Staying
So with the expected players looking to leave it seems that the team may not look a whole lot different next season. You could argue that losing some of this lot leaving could have a positive effect on those left behind, certainly the squad looks to have a bit more fight about it for the absence of players like Sissoko and Wijnaldum.
Obviously it would still leave us with the age-old problem of requiring more defenders and a prolific striker, but that would become cheaper at Championship level. The unknown is how well some of those remaining would cope with the Championship, where the lack of quality is made up for in hard work and pressing the ball for 90 minutes.
Would players like Townsend and Thauvin flourish against lesser opposition or get kicked out of matches? Who knows, but it looks like we’re going to find out.