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The 10 Newcastle United players that hopes rest on for survival (or better) in 2020/21

8 months ago

Picking out Newcastle United players who are key to the avoidance of disaster in the new season.

It might seem like a bit of a cop out to be naming ten of them.

However, reality is that there are very few Newcastle United players who are really outstanding, if any.

Martin Dubravka is a great keeper BUT can only do so much if those in front of him (and Steve Bruce’s tactics) don’t prevent the opposition getting through so often – in 2019/20 Dubravka made more saves than any other Premier League keeper.

Whilst with Allan Saint-Maximin, he is undoubtedly very exciting and has loads of potential, but to become outstanding ASM needs to turn the potential into a lot more end product of goals and assists.

However, they are of course in amongst my 10 key players for the coming season and indeed, are top of the tree. To lose either one to another club this summer would surely be catastrophic considering the rest of the team / squad.

As things stand, these are the players contracted to Newcastle United and available for the 2020/21 season:


Dubravka, Darlow, Gillespie


Manquillo, Krafth, Yedlin


Dummett, Lazaar


Lascelles, Fernandez, Lejeune, Schar, Clark


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


Hayden, Sean Longstaff, Shelvey, Saivet


Joelinton, Gayle, Carroll, Muto

It is deceptive if you just glance, yes there are twenty seven players but in truth you are looking at only around half of them being capable of performing in the Premier League to any decent degree.

When you add in a totally unbalanced squad, such as very decent strength in terms of centre-backs BUT not really one credible full-back choice, it sums up the problems. Never mind the serious number of injury problems last season, which Steve Bruce undoubtedly contributed to with his team selections bringing back some players too early after injury, as well as too many games for others in quick succession – especially after restart.

So my ten key / important players that 2020/21 rests on are:

Dubravka, Lascelles, Fernandez, Hayden, Shelvey, Sean Longstaff, Almiron, ASM, Joelinton and Gayle.

The keeper speaks for himself, whilst surely the centre-back pairing do as well.

Then with the midfield trio of options, from them over the course of next we need them to provide a lot more going forward this time, as well as defensive cover.

With the attacking four, creativity and goals are essential. You might laugh but I think from this quartet we might need as many as 30 goals if Newcastle are going to avoid relegation. Last season they scored 13 PL goals between them.

You might especially laugh at Joelinton but quite clearly he is not going anywhere and I think it is pure fantasy to think Mike Ashley will allow a credible goalscorer to be brought in, so we have what we have.

Next season I just can’t see the defenders coming up with so many goals from so few opportunities, whilst Jonjo Shelvey had a purple patch of six goals but that was like nothing we had seen previously from him.

With last season ending so recently and with so many injury problems, especially when you are talking about key players such as Lascelles, this coming campaign is looking ominous.

We have what we have and with likely relying on mainly / only loans and frees to supplement them, these existing players will need to contribute so much more than many will expect.


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