The Newcastle players regrouped on Friday, or at least most of them did.
Yesterday was the start of pre-season preparations as Rafa Benitez welcomed his squad back to the training ground.
It is only five weeks today that the Premier League season kicks off at 12.30pm on Saturday 11 August and indeed only four days now until the NUFC squad flies off to Ireland for their training /bonding camp.
Interesting to see which Newcastle players were spotted at the training ground…and indeed those who weren’t.
These senior players were all there on the first day:
Rolando Aarons, Christian Atsu, Ciaran Clark, Karl Darlow, Mohamed Diame, Martin Dubravka, Paul Dummett, Rob Elliot, Dwight Gayle, Isaac Hayden, Jamaal Lascelles, Florian Lejeune, Javier Manquillo, Jacob Murphy, Ayoze Perez, Matt Ritchie, Matz Sels, Jonjo Shelvey, DeAndre Yedlin
As for those there was no sign of:
Both Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ki Sung-Yueng have been given an extended holiday after their World Cup involvement.
As for Mikel Merino, his departure is imminent, Rafa Benitez admitting when interviewed yesterday that Ki Sung-Yueng has been brought in to replace him.
As for the other four…
All four are obviously surplus to requirements and hopefully some or all of them, as well as others, have got transfers imminent – explaining possibly why they were missing.
Alternatively, Rafa Benitez could have sent them to train with the kids, as he did last summer with a number of senior players, to help ‘encourage’ them to find new clubs.