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Opinion

We asked fans which Newcastle players should Rafa definitely keep for 2018/19 season? Very interesting results

1 year ago
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On Saturday, we asked you which Newcastle players do you think should definitely be kept for next season?

In 12 weeks time the 2018/19 season will kick-off on the weekend of Saturday 11 August and all Newcastle fans are hoping to see significant strengthening of the squad.

However, which of the current Newcastle players did supporters think should definitely be retained?

We listed 25 senior players who are still on the club’s books as possibles for next season.

Kenedy, Dubravka and Slimani were all left out as they are not Newcastle players after their loan spells ended.

Whilst Haidara and Gamez are set to be released next month when their contracts end, so we didn’t include them either.

So which Newcastle players should Rafa definitely keep for the 2018/19 season?

Newcastle fans could mark as many as they wanted to, anything from one up to all 25 if that was the preference.

There was also a 26th option where you could choose ‘nobody’ and leave everything else blank, if you thought none of the 25 were worth keeping.

All results were rounded up/down to the nearest whole percentage point:

99% Jonjo Shelvey

98% Jamaal Lascelles

95% Florian Lejeune

94% Matt Ritchie

92% Mohamed Diame

90% Paul Dummett

90% DeAndre Yedlin

86% Ayoze Perez

84% Mikel Merino

70% Jacob Murphy

61% Christian Atsu

54% Ciaran Clark

50%  Isaac Hayden

37% Karl Darlow

36% Aleksandar Mitrovic

25% Rob Elliot

23% Dwight Gayle

19% Rolando Aarons

12% Chancel Mbemba

9% Javier Manquillo

6% Joselu

5% Henri Saivet

3% Matz Sels

2% Achraf Lazaar

2% Jack Colback

0% Nobody

Safe to say it was a very resounding ‘keep’ for the top seven: Shelvey, Lascelles, Diame, Lejeune, Ritchie, Dummett, Yedlin. Those seven including all of the back four that saw the club through to safety with that run from February onwards.

Then you have Ayoze Perez with 86%, his late season form no doubt winning him many votes.

Ninth highest was Mikel Merino, good to see him getting such a resounding (84%) show of support, fans obviously recalling just how good he looked early in the season, rather than the sporadic later performances when he didn’t get another proper run in the team.

After that, I think you would call it qualified support for the next three, as Murphy (70%), Atsu (61% and Clark (54%), all had a majority of fans behind them.

Exactly splitting opinion on 50% was Isaac Hayden, after having a bit of a struggle when stepping up to the Premier League.

After that you are getting down to a third of fans backing Newcastle players Karl Darlow (37%) and Aleksandar Mitrovic (36%) getting limited support. With Mitro, no doubt the fact Rafa clearly doesn’t see him as one of his players has affected the voting of supporters.

After that you are really struggling, with one in four (25%) wanting to keep Rob Elliot, whilst the big surprise for me is that only 23% think Dwight Gayle should be retained. I would have thought surely he is worth keeping even if not first choice.

At the very bottom we thankfully had only a handful saying ‘nobody’, too low a vote to register.

Whilst you have a lot of players where Newcastle fans see no future at all, including many of those who have been out on loan – the likes of Colback (2%), Lazaar (2%), Sels (3%) and Saivet (5%).

Only two things matter though really.

Rafa Benitez’ judgement on who should and shouldn’t be kept and most importantly, what kind of support Rafa will get in the transfer market, which will dictate just ho wmuch the squad can be strengthened and how many Newcastle players will have to make way for new signings.

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