There are 15 Newcastle players who look to have their futures in doubt this summer.

Rafa Benitez was forced to make wholesale changes on relegation in 2016, with a number of players insisting on leaving and many others needing to be ditched.

On returning to the Premier League, the United boss clearly wasn’t given the backing to make the ins and outs he had intended to do.

If you remember, Rafa said back in summer 2016 that he needed to build a team to get Newcastle out of the Championship and then another for the Premier League.

After having to do a makeshift job last summer when bringing in bargain buys to try and get through this season, then supplemented with loan deals in January to try and ensure safety. Surely now will be the time when Rafa Benitez starts trying to bottom out his squad and bring in players that he sees as the basis of his squad for years to come.

For that to happen, he obviously needs to move others out.

On that front he clearly didn’t have the freedom to do exactly what he wanted in summer 2017, with not having the backing to bring in who he wanted, at the time Rafa said he couldn’t/wouldn’t then let existing players go – with the risk of no replacements arriving.

Here is my take on the Newcastle players set to definitely/potentially leave this summer:

Definitely on their way:

Massadio Haidara and Jesus Gamez. Both out of contract in June and no chance of being kept on.

Impressing on loan on the way to a permanent exit:

Matz Sels, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Henri Saivet, Achraf Lazaar, Jack Colback and Rolando Aarons are all out on loan at the minute.

None of the six have a first team future at St James Park, in my opinion.

Aleksandar Mitrovic is suggesting he is a striker who can score goals, doing it now in the Championship and surely doing enough to encourage one or two clubs in the Premier League next season to take a punt on him. Rafa Benitez won’t be one of those PL managers prepared to take that chance and with only two years left on his contract, this summer has to be when Mitro moves out. A lot of fans like him but the manager doesn’t have a place for the Serbian in the way he wants his team to function – hopefully these goals on loan will pave the way for significant money being added to Rafa’s transfer funds this summer.

For the other five of them, I think it is a case of the players having to accept a cut in wages if they want regular football elsewhere. It will probably take Newcastle United as well. being prepared to compromise on what they’d ideally like to bank from their departures. Some fans might think we should persevere with Rolando Aarons because of his age but he turns 23 in November and even when fit, has achieved next to nothing – a few moments of promise have gone a long way in terms of making supporters hope for better – but only five league starts at Newcastle so far is no use to anybody.

A tale of two goalkeepers:

Rafa was desperate to bring in a new number one last summer and was thwarted in his attempts, making Martin Dubravka a permanent deal now looks a no-brainer.

Until the Slovakian’s arrival, Rafa gave both Rob Elliot and Karl Darlow chances, but ended up dropping both in the course of those first five or six months. Both of them need to go if they want to play regular football and I think Rafa will be happy to make a fresh start on the goalkeeping front, pointing Sels, Darlow and Elliot towards the exit and Dubravka heading up a new look goalkeeping unit, with potentially another new keeper and Freddie Woodman as back-up.

Depends on how much backing Rafa has:

A number of other players also look at risk. However, this may well depend on just how successful Rafa is, in terms of bringing in his targets.

Isaac Hayden, Ayoze Perez, Chancel Mbemba, Javier Manquillo and Joselu are destined to be squad players at best next season, none of them convincing as the answer in the first team this season as regular starters. They have all contributed something this season but nowhere near enough to be seen as at the front of Rafa’s thoughts in the season ahead.

Maybe it will come down to which of them attract decent offers and I’m guessing at least one or two of them will end up sticking around and acting as squad/fringe players next season.

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  • mentalman

    Achraf Lazaar is impressing on loan?

    • IAmYTM

      Aye he makes a hell of a cuppa.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    When Perez starts we get 1.40 points per game when he does not we get 0.40 points per game the biggest gap of any player even Lascelles. Rafa rates him so he will be here next season.

    • pedrodelgardo

      Who were the opposition? Who played around him? Was he man marked? Who else played well on the day? Did you know that 26.7% of stats are made up for show and then wrongly interpreted.

  • steveS100

    Perez? Seriously? He’s appeared 24 times in the league for Benitez and one of the players Benitez sees as a regular starter. That he is on your list reflects nothing more than the negativity towards the lad that permeates this site…

    • Monkseaton Magpies

      So when Perez starts we win when he is on the bench we lose not hard
      to understand it is a fact so get it into your head when Perez win.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    If the truth be told we only have 5 to 6 decent players so that would amount to 19 players leaving, that can`t happen in 1 window but the problem is we are replacing shyte with more shyte. Manquillo & the Hoss being prime examples.
    is Slimani was fit it would mean a third of the first 11 would be loanees
    Abysmal state of affairs

    • HarryHype59

      “Replacing shyte with more shyte”

      It is hard to argue with that statement. The club also has “shyte” returning from previous windows e.g Sels and Lazaar.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        😂😂

      • Ram Kishore

        Sels is atleast getting a run in at Anderlecht and he’s their first choice.. Not bad when u compare the situation Achraf Lazaar is in.
        Lazaar is really in a bad situation ig.. Getting a permanent move for him would be difficult unless he takes a pay cut..I don’t wanna see another Sylvian Marveaux

        • HarryHype59

          Sels reputedly cost this club £6.5m and is allegedly on £50k a week. Shifting him is going to be difficult.

  • HarryHype59

    Who stays or leaves will be determined by which division this club is in next season. A four point margin of safety is too small to be complacent!

  • Paul Patterson

    Oh come on, 15 players at risk of leaving?
    They are all at risk. A sizeable bid for anyone and they will be off quicker than you can say ‘S****s D****t Clearance Sale’.

    • Jezza

      Too true. The player most likely to be going in the summer is Jamaal Lascelles.

      • Paul Patterson

        £40m at least in todays market.

        • robbersdog

          Why? He’s just about the only English central defender in the Prem who can’t get an international call-up.

          That’ll put off the big teams.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            The England manager`s on a par with Pardew
            💩

          • Dillon Tovak

            At least Pards has finished fifth once, Southgate has done absolutely nothing in his managerial career.
            2 guys that should not be seen anywhere near the top flight again.

          • Paul Patterson

            24 year old, influential, club captain and a decent centre back and English.
            Those command high prices. Plus if he moves to London or Manchester, he will walk into the England set-up. Clubs will know this.

          • Jezza

            True but Southampton need a replacement for Van Dijk and have got money to spend.

        • HarryHype59

          Ashley will sell him on staggered payments over five years. He will give the manager £8m to bring in new players.

          • Paul Patterson

            I can’t even see that. Loans will be the order of the day.

          • Jezza

            Agreed. There will be no more player purchases while Fatso remains at the club.

        • Jezza

          I think Fatso would be happy to pocket anything over £25 million.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        If Rafa leaves then you can bet Lascelles will go,
        most likely to Rafa`s new club

      • Lord

        I agree. I can see someone like Arsenal coming in for him.

        • Paul Patterson

          Imagine Arsenal coming in for Rafa AND Lascelles . .

          • Lord

            Well of course if that happens, I’m sure Mike Ashley would pay Wenger a handsome sum to join (cough).

  • Jezza

    “However, this may well depend on just how successful Rafa is, in terms of bringing in his targets.”

    If Rafa’s targets are not available on loan or free transfer then he won’t be able to bring them in.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Pie in the Sky Jezza, the Fat Lad won`t be spending whilst the clubs up for sale

    • Leazes.

      The author of the article seems to be in denial of the statement Ashley made in January with regard to future transfers, in fact a lot of reporters didn’t report it, and it makes me wonder why?

      Feb 8th London…’“He said he was hoping we’d stay up to then sell in the summer as he has no interest in the club and does not want to invest, saying this why we got loan signings last month’…

      If it was in January then the statement is going to be equally true in the next window…. loan signings only!

      • Paul Patterson

        Where was that from?

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Of course Jezza, you are right, never been proven wrong or making stuff up.
      Maybe we can have another charity bet on our net spend, you can welch on it again!

  • robbersdog

    Chancel Mbemba has had a raw deal at our club; in my opinion, he has the makings of an exceptional player, but a combination of circumstances at NUFC (injuries, management changes, new signings, being played out of position at full-back etc) has meant that he’ll probably be leaving.

    Good player at the wrong club.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Exactly

    • HarryHype59

      He has looked decent in the matches I have watched him play! He needs to play with a taller CH as his aerial game isn’t the best. He is a far better player that Manky.

      • robbersdog

        Manky?

        • Ram Kishore

          Manquillo

    • Down Under Mag

      It’s been going on for a long time. While i’d like to see him given a go, there’s plenty of others on loan that don’t seem to have been given a chance here but doing OK elsewhere. Much of that is down to the level they are playing at I will grant you, but there is a big question mark over what managers have seen that we don’t … not just on Rafa v Mitro here but theres been plenty of them over the years. I would say though we aren’t the only club it happens at…I think we have just seen a fair bit lately because of the recruitment policies in place here.

  • TheNutJob

    Mitro scores a few goals for Fulham & Fatty sticks £5m on his fee
    business is business to porky
    🐖 🐖
    😂😂

  • 1957

    There are two problems with this for me. It’s based on Benitez staying and Ashley providing funds to buy or selling up and I can’t see either of those happening…

  • Rich Lawson

    Wages ! We’re going to have to give a lot of these people free’s to get shot of them and will have very little in the pot for the next round of ”buys” as a result.

  • NUFCDan

    The most likely player to leave is Lascelles to someone like Chelsea or Arsenal so Fatty can cash in and trouser all the money. He must be worth at least the £25m Everton paid for Keane last summer.

    • steve

      We haven’t cashed in on a player who hasn’t forced the move since Carroll. Cisse, Ben Arfa, Tiote, Cabaye, Coloccini, Krul, Perez and many others are players we kept hold of well beyond the point where Fatso could have made some money. For all his faults that isn’t one of them.

      • NUFCDan

        ‘Forced the move’ is just PR spin. He did the same to Given, he said this in his autobiography. The reason all the above players weren’t sold is because nobody bid what Fatty thought they were worth and he gambled on being able to get more by holding onto them. Everyone at the club is for sale at the right price.

        • Paul Patterson

          And Milner . .

          • Ram Kishore

            Was he not sold before Ashley came in

          • Paul Patterson

            No, he was part of the reason Keegan left.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Milner wanted to move, he hated his time in Newcastle.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          Did the same to Given? Given wanted big money and a signing on fee at City. He wanted his cake and eat it.

  • I disagree about Perez and Hayden, both very young and have a lot to improve, especially Perez who looks to play better with better players around him.
    Hayden is a no-brainer as backup for Diame and should not be sold unless a solid 10m offer comes in.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Perez is a decent player, very much underated by some fans. On tv, he may not look the part but watch him live and he is intelligent in his running and positioning.

  • MadMag83

    A lot depends on if we stay up. If we survive then I’d like to think we will keep on to Lascelles etc. But if we go down then it’s likely Rafa will be gone, and any new manager is likely to have limited funds in the Championship so would probably have to sell some of the better players and give a chance to some of those who are listed in the article.

  • Mxpx

    I would say there is literally nobody in our squad that’s nailed on to be a Newcastle player next season other than Paul Dummett I’m up for a radical overhaul of the squad so long as its in the interest of improving the team not reducing costs I would say players we should be looking to move along would be

    Joselu
    Gayle
    Colback
    Atsu
    Sels
    Elliott
    Toney
    Manquillo
    Haidara
    Gamez

    I think it would be a bad idea to get rid of anyone else in our first team unless we can upgrade them I think aarons woodman mitrovic should all be chucked into the first team and longstanding Armstrong and barlasser should be getting experience on loan saivet is a massive maybe depending on whether we bring in anyone else in midfield or not obviously we need another number 10 and strikers as a top priority saying this i would give Murphy a go at number 10 once we get to safety obviously signing Kennedy is a must

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Why would you ditch Toney and not Armstrong?

      • Mxpx

        One is still showing that they have potential to be a Premier league player the other never really did

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          Same age, both doing well in the same division, Toney if anything has the edge with his all round game.

          • Mxpx

            Armstrong has scored more goals in 12 appearances than toney has in 29

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Eh? That’s a strange way of looking at it. Toney is one behind this season and was well ahead last season. We’ll see but I hope both push on, quite different players but Toney has just the edge right now.

  • Paul Busby

    How is Rolando actually doing in Italy?

    • Mxpx

      He’s coming off the bench as a sub no idea what he’s doing once he gets on though