Newcastle United Championship side set for £75m break up
Rafa Benitez built a side/squad to get out of the Championship.
With 15+ players leaving in summer 2016, Rafa had little choice.
End of contract, desperate to leave after relegation, players simply not good enough, a squad revolution was essential.
Back then (summer 2016), after signing a three year contract after relegation, the NUFC manager stated that it would be necessary to build a team/squad for the Championship, then another for the Premier League if/when promoted.
Obviously not a case of changing the whole squad in only one window but the message clear. Rafa Benitez seeing you needed a certain type of player and mix to fight for promotion, which would then need to evolve into a different type/level of player to be able to progress in the top tier.
However, a complete failure to allow proper investment in the squad in the four transfer windows since promotion, has basically left Rafa Benitez with little alternative to continue with a ‘Championship’ team.
The manager finding that even if he sanctions players leaving, such as Mitrovic, he will be given a fraction of that selling price to replace them.
The outcome being that Rafa has had no alternative to stick with any player who he feels might be of some use.
After 34 Premier League games this season, seven of the ten players who have started the most NUFC PL games, were part of the side that won the Championship.
Ritchie, Perez, Lascelles, Yedlin, Diame, Hayden and Dummett.
The other three being Dubravka, Schar and Rondon, the striker who Newcastle only have on loan.
All the signs though are pointing to a big clearout, especially if Rafa Benitez stays.
By trading on many of that Championship winning team of three years ago, Rafa could bring in significant money and clear wages. Helping to pave the way to bring in players who he does want.
I can see many/most of the following being moved on this summer and the suggested transfer cash they could/would bring in (in brackets how long will be left on contracts when reach June 2019):
£0 Rob Elliot (1 year) – Rafa has already said he needs to find a new club
£0 Mohamed Diame (0 years) – Club showing no inclination of wanting to give him (turns 32 in June) a new deal
£15m Jonjo Shelvey (2 years) – Even without buying anybody new this summer, Rafa has made clear he is not first choice
£10m Matt Ritchie (2 years) – Constant claims he will leave and Tuesday brought media claim he wants a new extended/enhanced contract but set to turn 30 in September, has been told he won’t get one and can leave
£15m Dwight Gayle (2 years) – A goal machine in the Championship once again. No longer first choice at NUFC and worth every penny for any ambitious club in second tier and will be hoping another Premier League club will make him their first choice striker
£5m Ciaran Clark (2 years) – Has been excellent but way down the pecking order, needs to play first team football aged 29
£10m Ayoze Perez (2 years) – Inconsistent as always, currently going through a good run of form. Keeps saying he wants to play in La Liga and set to turn 26 in July, I can see it happening
£10m Isaac Hayden (2 years) – A great shame considering the form he is showing but personal circumstances will ensure surely he leaves this summer. Worth more but the club will probably have to accept around £10m due to the circumstances of his impending departure.
£5m Christian Atsu (2 years) – Sometimes looks like he will contribute but never really does. No goals or assists this season in the Premier League and Newcastle need better, even on the bench.
£5m DeAndre Yedlin (2 years) – Will be amazed if he is still first choice next season. A 100% player but with little technical ability, poor in the attacking third when putting the ball into the box, whilst his defending is not exactly reliable. Think Rafa will offer him chance to stay as a squad player but guessing Yedlin will want first team football and leave.
I make that 10 players, £75m potentially to bank, with a major chunk taken off the wage bill.
Of course you also need willing buyers and reality may well be that not everybody you intend to sell, will end up going.
However, so long as Rafa Benitez is still here, I would put good money on most of these 10 players ave been sold on, with our thanks for the contribution, large or small, they have made.
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