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Opinion

These 9 former Newcastle United players are now to be released by clubs – NUFC proved right?

3 months ago
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A number of one-time Newcastle United players are now looking for new clubs.

Newcastle released their retained list on Wednesday and other clubs home and abroad are doing the same.

So have Newcastle United been proved right?

Or are there players that were sold/let go and have proved Newcastle wrong?

Here are nine ex Newcastle United players that will be out of contract at the end of June (each with their current age and the club who is now releasing them):

30 Andy Carroll (West Ham)

Newcastle United is still the only club where Carroll has managed double figures in a Premier League season, scoring 11 in only 19 PL games before being sold in January 2011.

Newcastle fans had every right to question the lack of ambition when he was sold, especially the failure to replace him and/or invest in the rest of the squad. You never know what would have happened to his career if he’d stayed at NUFC but very difficult/impossible to argue with £35m.

39 Aaron Hughes (Heart of Midlothian)

Still playing in club football and for his country at the age of 39, a brilliant professional. Could and should have set all kinds of records at Newcastle United, especially as he played at left-back and centre-back as well as his favoured right-back spot when at St James Park, even as a defensive midfielder if necessary.

A solid and reliable, as well as talented, defender and says it all that Graeme Souness sold him for £1.5m and brought in the likes of Babayaro and Boumsong.

26 Mehdi Abeid (Dijon)

Some Newcastle fans thought he deserved more of a chance under Pardew and he probably did.

Showed some promise in a few games but his career so far in Greek and French football doesn’t suggest in any way he could have made it in the Premier League.

32 Hatem Ben Arfa (Rennes)

Newcastle fans will, as always, fall into two distinct groups on this one.

Still showing his quality with nine goals this past season and brilliant dribbling ability, whilst for his critics he is unreliable and doesn’t do it often enough. I would have hoped a better manager would have handled him better at Newcastle and clearly he could have done so much more if staying on Tyneside. No guarantee he would have done of course but I was one who was very disappointed when he left.

25 Gael Bigirimana (Hibernian)

Only 18 when he arrived at Newcastle and played 25 times in his first season, then only one cup appearance after that.

Looked like a potential star of the future and comparisons were made to Cheick Tiote after some performances. Lost his way at Newcastle and never looked like a possible Premier League player ever since that first Newcastle season ended.

33 Sylvain Marveaux (Lorient)

A disgrace for me. That is the player by the way, not the fact Newcastle got rid of him.

Scored one Premier League goal during his five year Newcastle contract and never ever really looked bothered. Rafa Benitez knew the score and paid off him and Obertan months early to get them out of the club.

29 Emmanuel Riviere (Metz)

What can you say?

Hopeless. Scored one Premier League goal for NUFC and that was a fluke as he kicked the ball off his other foot and bamboozled the opposition keeper. Newcastle had to do a deal to get him out of the club and recouped not a penny of the £6m wasted, a shocking signing.

Has scored eight league goals in total in the five years since Newcastle signed him, says it all.

32 Danny Simpson (Leicester City)

A big mistake in my opinion.

Easily the best (defensive) right-back Newcastle have had these past 10 years, no frills and got on with his job. Debuchy, Janmaat and Yedlin have all followed but none of them as good at defending, which is really what the priority is.

The Ashley PR machine got many fans calling Simpson and labelling him greedy because Mike Ashley refused to pay him the wages he wanted. Safe to say the likes of Debuchy and Janmaat would have been paid far more than what Simpson was even asking for.

Made 35 PL starts for Newcastle when we finished fifth in 2011/12 and backed that up when a key member of Leicester’s title winning team of 2015/16. Definitely a bad move to let him leave on a free.

34 Ryan Taylor (Fleetwood Town)

Did really well for Newcastle but the right decision to not offer a new deal in 2015, Ryan Taylor playing in India and the lower English leagues since then. The serious injuries making it very difficult to get back to the form he showed when making 31 PL appearances when NUFC ended up fifth in 2011/12. A cult hero with some storming free-kicks as well.

Right to let him go but Mike Ashley showing his class in the manner of it. The owner ordering John Carver to phone Ryan Taylor and deliver the news when he was away on a coaching course, then asking Taylor to pass the phone to Jonas Gutierrez and tell him he was finished as well.

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