At the end of each transfer window, every top tier club has to present a list of up to 25 senior players who are allowed to then play in the Premier League.

So once this 2018 summer window closes at 5pm on Thursday 9 August, a Newcastle United squad list containing no more than 17 players who do not fulfil the “Home Grown Player” (HGP) criteria, will need to be quickly submitted to the Premier League.

The rest of the squad, up to a total of 25 players, must be Home Grown.

An HGP means a player who, irrespective of nationality or age, has been registered with any club affiliated to The Football Association or the Football Association of Wales for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons, or 36 months, before his 21st birthday (or the end of the season during which he turns 21).

Under-21 players are eligible over and above the limit of 25 players per squad. For the 2018/19 campaign Under-21 players will have been born on or after 1 January 1997.

At this moment in time, I make it that the current Newcastle United squad looks like this, as the players return today for the start of pre-season preparations.


First Team: Martin Dubravka Others: Karl Darlow, Rob Elliot, Matz Sels, Freddie Woodman


First Team: DeAndre Yedlin, Paul Dummett Others: Javier Manquillo, Jamie Sterry, Achraf Lazaar


First Team: Jamaal Lascelles, Florian Lejeune, Ciaran Clark Others: Chancel Mbemba


First Team: Matt Ritchie Others: Jacob Murphy, Christian Atsu, Rolando Aarons

Central Midfielders

First Team:

Mohamed Diame, Jonjo Shelvey, Ki Sung-Yueng, Mikel Merino Others: Jack Colback, Henri Saivet, Isaac Hayden


First Team:

Dwight Gayle, Ayoze Perez, Aleksandar Mitrovic Others: Joselu, Adam Armstrong

There are 30 players listed above, though Adam Armstrong and Freddie Woodman are still eligible as Under 21s.

So bottom line, is that even without signing another player, Rafa Benitez still has three players who couldn’t feature.

In reality of course, there are many many more that the manager and the club are desperate to move on.

My splits above are the players (first team) who I would be happy to see regularly start games next season, though obviously hoping that better quality comes in for however many positions. Whilst the rest I have grouped as ‘others’, some of them ok (in my opinion) as squad players but not as regular starters.

With the strikers, I have been a bit more lenient, as maybe all three of Gayle, Perez and Mitro would be borderline for myself.

Of the 28 senior players, I think Rafa Benitez is very keen to move on:

Sels, Lazaar, Sterry, Mbemba, Aarons, Colback, Saivet, Mitrovic

In addition, it looks all but certain that Mikel Merino is also going to leave.

If those nine do leave, then that would see 19 senior Newcastle United squad players still here, with plenty of room to bring in new signings.

Rafa was forced to loan out a large number of senior players, as well as the younger ones going out to be developed, let’s hope not too many will have to go down that route this time.

It would be great if the manager can make early inroads into moving on these eight or nine above, as it is essential that he has as many factors in his favour when trying to remodel his squad.

To feature like Matthew Robson submit your article to [email protected] and/or for more info go here

  • mentalman

    Even once we sell Sels i can’t see us going in to the season with 3 senior keepers. Either elliott or darlow will be punted, another one to divide the fans but for me it would be elliott to go. Having said that Darlow will be easier to sell so it’ll probably be him.

    You’ve listed a few players we should be trying to sell before the likes of merino but the problem is who will buy them

    • SH.ER

      Eliott have to go, Darlow has the age in his side, he is still young
      And i remember he was fantastic in the 1-1 draw against Palace & should’ve saved the penalty, an okay backup for our number one …

  • 1957

    The only way I can see Dwight staying is if we don’t sign a clear first choice striker… I’ve heard he wasn’t happy last season and at this stage of his career wants a club where he can be a regular first teamer.

    • mentalman

      He’s said similar things every season he has been in the premier league, he needs to start showing he deserves a regular firsfirst team spot

  • Gallowgate Dave

    Looking at our squad I’d like to see 50% of them sold but being able to pay Premier League wages is a bit of a double edged sword. Undoubtedly makes it easier to compete for players in a global marketplace but English clubs are often subject to inflated transfer fees as they know we have more money, it can definitely attract the wrong type of player who values money above his playing career and it also makes it very difficult to move on unsuccessful players as it’s hard for anyone to accept a pay cut especially when they have signed a contract and are guaranteed that money.

  • I’m eager to watch the pre-season games. Rafa will certainly field players he either wants to sell or give a second chance.
    We all know which players will be here unless a huge offer comes in (Lascelles, Lejeune, Shelvey, Perez), I expect almost none of them to feature heavily in pre-season or be used only in first halves and being subbed as early as possible.

  • Geordiegiants

    How is Mitro listed as first team,?