Newcastle United have never had so many loan players out at other clubs.
So what will Rafa Benitez do with these 18 loan players below (full team + subs) this summer?
Tim Krul (AZ Alkmaar)
The 29 year old keeper has never since came close, to the consistently excellent form of that 2011/12 season when United finished fifth. Ajax refused to give him a game once fit and whilst AZ have given him football in the second half of the season, a lot of goals conceded and not encouraging reports from Holland. With only a year left on his Newcastle contract and plenty of alternatives such as Darlow and Elliot, plus possibility of Rafa bringing in a new number one, Krul surely looks on his way out.
Kevin Mbabu (Young Boys)
Definitely one of the more interesting returning loan players. Many Newcastle fans would have liked the Swiss defender to have maybe had a chance at Newcastle this season but with Rafa clearly going for experience in the Championship, a loan was the best option. With 21 games so far for guaranteed runners-up in Switzerland, Young Boys, Mbabu has got valuable experience under his belt. The 22 year old has shown glimpses of promise in his limited chances at Newcastle, interesting to see if Rafa Benitez sees any place for the versatile defender in his Premier League squad next season. Picking up 11 yellow cards this season in only 21 appearances is a bit over the top.
Macauley Gilhespy (Carlisle)
Turns 22 in November and the defender has now spent the past two seasons on loan at Carlisle and made 63 appearances. You can never say never but the odds are that we could see a permanent move to a lower division club this summer, rather than any future at Newcastle with the first team
Kyle Cameron (Newport)
Similar to Gilhespy really, he turns 21 in January and has been out on loan spells in League Two, at both York and Newport, though injury has limited his number of games. Once again, difficult to see him bridging the gap to Newcastle’s first team squad and a move to a lower division club could be on the cards.
Henri Saivet (St.Etienne)
One of the most pointless signings ever made by Ashley/Carr, adding an average overseas midfielder to a squad that was overflowing with them, whilst desperate for strikers/defenders in January 2016 to help stave off relegation. Saivet has had 29 games for St Etienne this season but they have already said they are not interested in making the move permanent. Very difficult to see any French club (which is surely his only possible destination) paying a fee AND matching his Newcastle wages, so it is likely United would have to more or less give him away to get him off the books, or subsidise his wages to get another loan move next season.
Siem de Jong (PSV)
The loan year in Holland has been a success up to a point with 23 appearances and six goals. However, with only 10 starts in the weak Dutch league and more matches on the bench (15) it is hard to see how he could then be good enough for the Premier League – both in terms of quality and the physical side. Now 28 and another Newcastle player on an overly long contract (runs out 2020) and Premier League wages, difficult to see anybody paying money for him, especially with the ongoing injury worries. Another loan looks likely for me, or a permanent deal if Newcastle take the hit and let him go for nothing.
Alex Gilliead (Luton)
Will turn 22 in February and yet another player who has done ok in the lower divisions on loan at Carlisle, Luton and Bradford but never came close to being seen as a first team squad player at Newcastle. The winger seems to have ability and hopefully will get a move this summer and Newcastle bank a modest fee.
Ivan Toney (Scunthorpe)
Now 21, the tall striker has hit 13 goals in 30 starts (plus 6 as sub) in League One this season, at both Shrewsbury and Scunthorpe. An appalling disciplinary record for a forward though, having picked up 16 bookings and a red card this past 12 months. Obviously has some ability so interesting to see whether Rafa will sell him this summer, or give Toney a season maybe in the Championship on loan to see if he can progress again.
Florian Thauvin (Marseille)
Has already triggered a permanent move to Marseille and this will go through formally in July when the transfer market opens. Has looked a real quality player this season with some stunning goals, maybe one that has slipped away from Newcastle but at least it will be another £10m that Rafa Benitez hopefully has to spend.
Adam Armstrong (Barnsley)
Undoubtedly a very good finisher, Armstrong had a great first season of loan football when scoring 20 goals at Coventry in 2015/16. Found life more difficult in the Championship at Barnsley, both in terms of scoring goals (six in the league) and getting regular starts (named 21 times out of 46 in the first eleven). Now 20 years old, the Geordie striker faces his biggest ever season when he needs to step up again, almost certainly on loan in the second tier once again.
Emmanuel Riviere (Osasuna)
The 27 year old ‘striker’ is surely one of the worst ever Ashley//Carr signings (which is saying something). Has scored only one league goal since April 2014 and that was a total fluke for Newcastle at QPR when he kicked the ball off his other foot and it baffled the keeper. Has been on loan for a year at Osasuna in La Liga and not managed a single goal, Rafa will be desperate to get rid but zero chance of that, the players still having three years left of the ludicrous six year contract he was handed by Newcastle.
Freddie Woodman (Kilmarnock)
Only turned 20 in March but the young keeper has earned some rave reviews in 15 starts for Kilmarnock since going on loan in January. Looks to have a bright future but another loan season beckons in August.
Sean Longstaff (Kilmarnock)
Only 19, the young midfielder has handled the step up to regular football well, starting 16 games and scoring three goals, since his January loan. Another destined for more loan experience next season.
Callum Roberts (Kilmarnock)
Now aged 20, the winger hasn’t found it as easy to get games at Kilmarnock, starting just four (six from the bench) Scottish Premier matches. Needs to find some consistency and if remaining with Newcastle, will surely see another loan as well.
Paul Woolston (Blyth Spartans)
Only 18, the young keeper has impressed on loan at Blyth Spartans and looks set for another loan spell to progress his football education.
Jamie Sterry (Coventry)
The 21 year old full-back did well in a loan spell at Coventry in the first half of the 2016/17 season but then got only 10 minutes of Championship football in two brief sub appearances after the new year. Is contracted until 2020 and definitely looks to have a future in football but it is such a big leap to getting regularly involved with the Premier League squad. Another loan is very likely unless Rafa decides to sell him.
Liam Smith (Crewe)
After showing some promise in a short loan spell at Blackpool in 2015/16, the midfielder was unlucky to get a bad injury as soon as he went to Crewe on loan this past season. However, turning 22 this coming September, another young player who will surely be moving on.
Sammy Ameobi (Bolton)
Finally it appears that Newcastle will now be Ameobi free. Young (now aged 25!) Sammy sees his contract come to an end this summer and will surely leave. Bolton fans were impressed with him in his loan spell and that should help him find a club this summer.
(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])