Currently 29 players for 25 man Newcastle United squad – Quantity is there but is the quality?
By the end of this week Steve Bruce has to choose his senior 25 man Newcastle United squad.
This includes three goalkeepers and a maximum of 22 outfield players.
As it stands, there looks to be 26 players for 22 outfield spots.
The quantity is there but is the quality?
How many more signings are needed, if any?
I have analysed the squad position by position, interested to see if you agree with my opinions.
As well as the 25 man senior Newcastle United squad, you have the under-21 players such as Elias Sorensen and Matty Longstaff – who scored the winner against St Etienne, for the 2019/20 campaign, under-21 players will have been born on or after 1 January 1998.
Steve Bruce commented on picking his 25 man Newcastle United squad on Saturday:
“By the end of this week I have to name a 25 man squad with three goalkeepers.
“The awful side of my job is that you have to disappoint a few players – all of them have really had a go for me but I can only pick 22 (outfield players).”
I have separated the players in each category into whether I think they are first team quality (First), first team squad quality (Squad), or need to move on (Others).
It looks obvious that Steve Bruce is going to continue with the three/five man defence that Rafa Benitez expertly brought in last season and that the players appear comfortable with, so that has changed the categories below slightly (For example – Right side attack instead of winger etc).
First – Martin Dubravka
Squad -Karl Darlow
Others – Rob Elliot,
Squad – Javier Manquillo, Deandre Yedlin
Others – Jamie Sterry,
First – Matt Ritchie, Paul Dummett
Squad – Jetro Willems
Others – Achraf Lazaar
First – Jamaal Lascelles, Florian Lejeune, Fabian Schar,
Squad – Federico Fernandez, Ciaran Clark
First – Sean Longstaff, Isaac Hayden
Squad – Ki Sung-yeung, Jonjo Shelvey
Others – Henri Saivet, Jack Colback,
Right Side Attack
First – Allan Saint-Maximin (ASM)
Others – Jacob Murphy
Left Side Attack
First – Miguel Almiron
Others – Christian Atsu, Rolando Aarons
First – Joelinton
Squad – Dwight Gayle
Others – Yoshinori Muto
By my reckoning, of the 26 outfield players, I have gone with 10 definite first team quality, eight who are at least good enough first team squad quality and then another eight who ideally should be moved on/replaced.
I have assumed Joelinton and ASM will prove good enough, with loan left-back Willems rated as a squad player for the time being.
That would leave four places to be filled in terms of outfield players in an ideal world.
Right-back/wing-back looks the most glaring, Manquillo and Yedlin are decent squad players but there is a desperate need for a better first choice option.
Centre-back is clearly the strongest area of the team/squad and central midfield looks decent.
In an ideal world I think we definitely need another striker and if possible would move Muto on to help make way.
I also think that Almiron and ASM don’t have any great back-up.
As a minimum expectation I think at the very least a first choice right-back/wing-back needs to be bought in, along with at least one other attacking player to add more goals to a squad that still looks lacking in them, based on what we have seen from these players previously.
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