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Newcastle United ensure Dwight Gayle and Karl Darlow aren’t cup-tied ahead of selling in January?

3 months ago
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Dwight Gayle and Karl Darlow were two names conspicuous by their absence on Saturday.

The Newcastle starting eleven against Rochdale seeing neither player named.

In usual circumstances, you would have expected Karl Darlow to get a game in the cups (as he did in August against Leicester in the League Cup), both to keep him interested and most importantly, protect Martin Dubravka from unnecessary injury.

Whilst it looked an obvious choice for Dwight Gayle to play as centre-forward, give him a game to improve his fitness and confidence, plus top of the list, to protect Miguel Almiron from injury after the Paraguayan had started all four games in a four day stretch over the festive period.

Many Newcastle fans instantly assumed that the absence of Dwight Gayle and Karl Darlow was due to the intention of NUFC to sell them this month, with players not cup-tied for the FA Cup making  them potentially easier to sell.

After the match Steve Bruce gave no reason as to why Karl Darlow hadn’t been given a game, whilst when directly asked about Gayle’s absence, claimed the striker has a groin injury.

You never know what to believe with Newcastle United, especially at the minute, but very doubtful in my opinion that Dwight Gayle is indeed injured, when you consider the club are almost certainly trying to sell him AND the fact he was on the bench only three days earlier against Leicester AND when listing players before the Rochdale game who weren’t available, Steve Bruce never mentioned Gayle.

This brings us to the wider problem/issue/farce when it comes to the lack of urgency from Newcastle United on contracts, which is completely bizarre.

Over the course of the entire summer, not a single Newcastle player signed up to an extended deal.

Whilst for the last six months, Steve Bruce has kept claiming that the club are imminently going to agree new contracts with many key first team squad players, yet with now more than half the season gone, only Martin Dubravka has been signed up on a new deal.

Karl Darlow has only five months to go of his NUFC contract, whilst Dwight Gayle has only 17 months left now and like Darlow, turns 30 in October.

Mike Ashley seems happy to have depreciating assets and has seemingly made no effort to sign these and many other players up to longer deals and/or try to trade them on before they are worth far less…or nothing.

As it stands, 16 of the 26 players in the Newcastle United first team squad aren’t contracted beyond June 2021.

This is when the 26 first team squad players see their current deals end:

June 2020 Ki, Carroll, Willems, Fernandez, Manquillo, Elliot, Darlow, Matty Longstaff

June 2021 Clark, Schar, Shelvey, Ritchie, Gayle, Hayden, Yedlin, Atsu

June 2022 Dummett, Muto, Lejeune, Sean Longstaff

June 2023 Krafth

June 2024 Almiron

June 2025 Dubravka, Lascelles, Joelinton, Saint-Maximin

Running down contracts (long-term financial commitments) could be seen as indicating making the club more attractive to potential buyers. However, none of us are counting on that (a sale of the club) happening any time soon with Mike Ashley.

We all know that Ashley runs the club purely to financially benefit himself and his retail empire. However, on top of that, there is a whole other layer of incompetence that exists at Newcastle United and is helping to drag the club down.

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