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Opinion

6 Newcastle United players were leaving but now set to stay due to lack of money/signings

3 weeks ago
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There are 30 Newcastle United players who could be set to play a part in the 2020/21 Premier League season.

Obviously, some who are far more likely than others to play a significant part, whilst others unlikely to play any at all.

You are allowed 25 senior (not classed as Under 21s) members of your official Premier League squad, three goalkeepers and 22 outfield players.

On Saturday we are now only two weeks away from the new season kicks-off, only free transfers Mark Gillespie and Jeff Hendrick added so far.

This summer is looking ever more like a case of what might have been.

A missed chance for a radical overhaul of the club on and off the pitch, if ambitious new owners had arrived.

However, even without that, there was an urgent need for a sizeable overhaul of the squad, as an absolute minimum.

Instead, we have seen Mike Ashley take a massive risk and refuse to allow any spending so far on transfer fees.

The net result is that there are going to be Newcastle United players who were going to be moved on for sure this summer, who instead will be staying. I have picked out six below, though that may be only the tip of the iceberg.

NEWCASTLE UNITED SQUAD AVAILABLE FOR 2020/21 SEASON with two weeks until it kicks off:

GOALKEEPERS

Dubravka, Darlow, Gillespie

RIGHT-BACKS

Manquillo, Krafth, Yedlin

LEFT-BACKS

Dummett, Lazaar

CENTRE-BACKS

Lascelles, Fernandez, Lejeune, Schar, Clark

WINGERS / ATTACKING MIDFIELDERS

Ritchie, Almiron, Saint-Maximin, Murphy, Aarons, Atsu

CENTRAL MIDFIELDERS

Hayden, Sean Longstaff, Shelvey, Saivet, Matty Longstaff, Jeff Hendrick, Dan Barlaser

STRIKERS

Joelinton, Gayle, Carroll, Muto

So apart from the three goalkeepers, Newcastle United have 22 outfield spots to fill.

Steve Bruce has already said that Aarons, Lazaar and Saivet have to find new clubs, so we can take them out of the equation.

Then you have Matty Longstaff who is an under 21 player and won’t take up a space, even if he doesn’t go out on loan, which appears likely. Whilst with the numbers in central midfield, Dan Barlaser will surely go out on loan, with Hendrick coming in.

That conveniently leaves us with 22 outfield players to fill the 22 senior outfield players in the official 2020/21 NUFC squad.

However, the numbers are misleading and there is so very little strength in depth.

I do think that if Mike Ashley had made money available then we would have seen a number of other players leaving for sure.

Instead, we are going to see a fair few of this season’s squad simply there to make up the numbers, players who otherwise would have been moved on for sure.

Christian Atsu

Four Premier League starts by the end of September 2019 and then only two more in the next 10 months but named on the bench 22 times.

Only 10 months left on Atsu’s contract and for sure he would have been leaving but as things stand, Bruce needs him to fill a shirt.

DeAndre Yedlin

Very similar story to Atsu.

Only 10 PL starts all season, only four of them after November 2019, but filling the bench regularly.

Bruce preferring both Manquillo and Krafth to the USMNT international.

Yedlin in the final year of his contract and destined to leave, only now left hanging around because Newcastle are so short of numbers.

Jacob Murphy

Only three Premier League starts since the 2017/18 season, a player who desperately needs a new permanent club.

Yet another in the final 10 months of his NUFC deal and not a Premier League standard player, especially sad when he is a Newcastle fan as well.

Would have been moved out but now we are told Steve Bruce is taking a good look at him in pre-season. Another who will be kept hanging around simply because of the failure to sign players, with no chance of playing unless thrown in due to desperation thanks to injuries.

Fabian Schar

Popular with fans but not Steve Bruce.

On new year’s day the Swiss defender made his 14th Premier League start of the season but then made only one more before we got to July. Even then he only got into the team as an emergency midfielder for a couple of games, then one game at centre-back when Steve Bruce had nobody else available against Tottenham.

Only 10 months on his contract and a combination of injury and no money to spend will keep Schar here at least for the first half of the season.

Yoshinori Muto

Along with Joelinton, no sight of him in pre-season and the club refusing to comment.

Media claim that Muto has been told to look for a new club BUT no surprise if there is a u-turn.

With no striker(s) signed and Gayle set to be out for a fair bit, none of us will be the least bit surprised if the Japanese striker (two PL starts all last season) ends up in the NUFC 2020/21 squad.

Ciaran Clark

Maybe a bit of a controversial one but I do think if there had been money available and spent, Clark would have been exiting.

A great servant to NUFC but turns 31 in September and has only 10 months on his contract, behind Fernandez, Lascelles and Lejeune for a first team place.

Due to the funds not made available, Ciaran Clark will be kept on until next summer in place of what should have been a new signing

Obviously, if there had been new ambitious owners, you could have listed many players who would have been surplus to requirements and set to move on, with a major turnover of players.

However, even under Mike Ashley, there would still surely have been an expectation from Steve Bruce that he would at least have money to spend that would enable these five or six players outlined above to move on and be replaced.

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