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Opinion

Bizarre contract position of Newcastle United players after best performance of season

3 months ago
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It was a job well done for the Newcastle United players on Wednesday night.

A point against the league leaders and reigning champions, also becoming the first Premier League team to keep a clean sheet against Liverpool this season.

On another night Newcastle might even have taken all three points, as both Callum Wilson and Ciaran Clark came close to finding the goal that would have brought victory to the Magpies in this final game of 2020.

The 11 Newcastle United players in the starting eleven were I think pretty much the choice of most NUFC fans, with the probable exception of Joelinton.

Looking back at that Steve Bruce team selection against Liverpool, there is one very bizarre theme running through half the team.

These are the contract positions of the 11 Newcastle United players who started on Wednesday, when their current contracts are set to end:

June 2025 – Karl Darlow

June 2021 – DeAndre Yedlin

June 2021 – Fabian Schar

June 2021 – Federico Fernandez

June 2021 – Ciaran Clark

June 2023 – Matt Ritchie

June 2026 – Isaac Hayden

June 2022 – Matty Longstaff

June 2021 – Jacob Murphy

June 2025 – Joelinton

June 2024 – Callum Wilson

Quite incredibly, half the outfield players see their current deals end in June (2021).

Ironically (even more bizarrely), this included four of the Newcastle United back five, all three centre-backs plus DeAndre Yedlin. The part of the team that I think Newcastle fans clearly think is our strongest.

The selection of centre-backs that can play in front of Karl Darlow (or Martin Dubravka, now he is back).

When you also take into account that Newcastle’s two other strikers (Carroll and Gayle) who were on the bench, also see their current deals end in June 2021, the set up of our team / squad is in a precarious position, with Mike Ashley and his minions not showing any urgency in ensuring key players are given new contracts, instead of being able to currently leave for nothing in six months time if choosing to do so.

I think pretty much every Newcastle fan would have played Gayle ahead of Joelinton, which would have meant six of ten outfield starters would shortly be out of contract. Then when you add Matty Longstaff with only 18 months remaining and having been totally messed around by Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce, you don’t exactly see a team and squad with solid foundations moving forward.

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