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Opinion

Not saying it’s all short-term at Newcastle but 5 of this season’s 8 signings are out of contract in June

2 weeks ago
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Newcastle United have been relatively busy in this January transfer window, at least in terms of the number of signings.

Thursday’s deal with Danny Rose adding to the previous capture of Nabil Bentaleb and Valentino Lazaro.

Newcastle United now have this team of players in their first team squad…

Darlow, Elliot, Manquillo, Fernandez, Rose, Willems, Lazaro, Ki, Bentaleb, Matty Longstaff, Carroll

Apart from having two goalkeepers in the eleven, there are also another couple of notable things.

All 11 are Newcastle United first team squad players who see their NUFC contracts end this summer, unless something changes.

Whilst five of them also number amongst the eight signings made these past six months.

Rafa Benitez proposed an all encompassing review of the club, a request/need for the finances and freedom to drag NUFC into the 21st century and show a desire for progression season after season.

What has happened these past six months points to the exact opposite.

Predictably, like every other season/close season under the current owner, no proper investment in the infrastructure. Whether that is the Academy, the training complex, or indeed St James Park.

As for the first team playing squad the message is quite stark.

A cynic would say there has been a couple of big money gambles on Joelinton and ASM, young players who the owner hopes could potentially be worth a lot more money in the future, a bargain basement hopeful signing in Krafth, plus five players only contracted until the end of June 2020.

You might interpret this as not burdening the imminent new owners with loads of incumbent players on long contracts, giving a large financial commitment in the years moving forward.

However, you could equally believe this strategy is all about trying to move from season to season, at the lowest possible financial risk, hoping simply to survive in the Premier League.

Predicting what the starting eleven for Newcastle’s first league match of the 2020/21 season will be, is surely impossible.

Relying on so many short-term answers simply leads to long-term problems.

Leaving aside the ownership/politics of Newcastle United, a major squad overhaul will be obviously needed.

It isn’t very long ago at all when Lee Charnley was telling us that the idea was to be in a position whereby Newcastle would be simply looking to add a minimal number of quality players each season, to add to an ever growing solid base.

As things stand, Newcastle United couldn’t be any further away from that fantasy scenario.

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