Jack Colback (AKA The Ginger Pirlo) was named in Newcastle’s 25 man Premier League squad after the transfer window closed.

However, despite this, the midfielder was a notable absentee when the official NUFC 2017/18 team photo was taken this week.

Fans wondered about the omission, after Rafa Benitez had included Colback in this season’s squad, but now he has explained why.

The United boss indicating that it was simply a case of there been a spare place after the likes of Lazaar, de Jong, Hanley, Krul and Riviere were cleared out late on in the window.

Colback might have a squad number but Rafa Benitez has said, ‘It is simple, we had decided the squad beforehand….we haven’t changed our position on that’.

Rafa Benitez on absence of the Ginger Pirlo from team photo…:

“It is simple, we had decided the squad beforehand.

“He is not training with the team and we haven’t changed our position on that.

“It made no sense to change things again, just because we’re taking a team picture.

“It has to be consistent.

“We have to be consistent in terms of our ideas as professionals and the way that we want to manage this squad.”

The Newcastle United 25 man Premier League squad (Players that qualify as homegrown with a *) – Players qualifying as Under 21, such as Mikel Merino, are additional:

Aarons, Rolando*

Clark, Ciaran*

Colback, Jack Raymond*

Darlow, Karl*

Diame, Mohamed

Dummett, Paul*

Elliot, Robert*

Gamez Duarte, Jesus

Gayle, Dwight Devon Boyd*

Gutierrez, Ayoze Perez

Haidara, Massadio

Hayden, Isaac Scot*

Lascelles, Jamaal*

Lejeune, Florian Gregoire Claude

Manquillo Gaitan, Javier

Mato Sanmartin, Jose Luis

Mbemba, Chancel Mangulu

Mitrovic, Aleksander

Murphy, Jacob Kai*

Ritchie, Matthew Thomas*

Saivet, Henri

Shelvey, Jonjo*

Sterry, Jamie Michael*

Twasam, Christian Atsu

Yedlin, Deandre