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4 more Newcastle United players need early contract decision after Dwight Gayle agreed

10 months ago

The subject of Newcastle United players and their contracts has been making headlines and sparked a debate earlier today.

Monday morning brought news on Dwight Gayle.

The Athletic, normally a very good source, reporting that Dwight Gayle had been offered a three year contract on ‘reduced terms’ and has already signed it.

Dwight Gayle turns 32 in October and will be only four months short of turning 35 by the time this new deal is due to end.

With Steve Bruce having only given the striker two starts all season in the Premier League but named him on the bench sixteen times, it all seems a bit strange, if we are talking about the Premier League anyway…especially as Bruce has made clear he isn’t keen on playing Gayle or Carroll even with Callum Wilson injured. These last six PL games seeing Gayle start two and Carroll none at all.

The consensus amongst Newcastle fans is very much that the club are preparing for a very possible / probable drop into the Championship, retaining Gayle as insurance with Callum Wilson all but certain to go if NUFC go down.

Other Newcastle United players to have received contract extensions in recent times include Ciaran Clark, Matt Ritchie, Jonjo Shelvey, Karl Darlow and Isaac Hayden.

If you look back to the 2016/17 promotion season (when we were all five years younger), these were the nine Newcastle United players to make the most Championship starts – 44 Dummett, 41 Lascelles, 40 Ritchie, 38 Shelvey, 34 Clark, 34 Darlow, 28 Hayden, 27 Diame and 26 Gayle.

It all looks a bit familiar, Dwight Gayle and the other five listed above who have got new contracts recently, all of them also amongst the Championship regulars back then under Rafa Benitez. It is almost as if the club hasn’t really moved forward…

If these players are once again to be the basis for another promotion push next season (or another PL season…), it is difficult to believe that in their 30s (already 30 or turning 30 before the end of the 2021/22 season), the likes of Clark, Shelvey, Ritchie and Gayle will reach as high a level of performance over the course of next season, as they did when in their mid-twenties or a little older.

With Dwight Gayle having had his contract situation sorted, there are at least another four Newcastle United players where you assume the club have to act soon, if they want to retain them for next season.

All four of Fabian Schar, Andy Carroll, Federico Fernandez and Jacob Murphy see their current deals end on 30 June 2021.

Decisions will need to be made far earlier if Newcastle want these players to stay, the Championship 2021/22 season starts the weekend of Saturday 7 August and the Premier League a week later. Players usually report back for pre-season at the start of July and I’m sure this quartet will want to know ASAP where they will be playing next season.

Fabian Schar reportedly has a one year extension clause that Newcastle United can activate but I guess his situation will be complicated by the fact he is very unlikely to play again before NUFC need to make that decision, due to injury.

Christian Atsu and Henri Saivet also see their contracts expire at the end of June 2021 and will surely leave, although at Newcastle United, if indeed it is going to be Championship football next season, you can’t be sure of anything.

In reality, Newcastle United also have a host of other players who need a decision made this summer on their futures, a contract extension or move on.

These are Newcastle United players who see their current deals end in June 2022, NUFC needing to take action this summer or face losing them for nothing in a year’s time – amongst them are Paul Dummett, Matty Longstaff, Sean Longstaff, Yoshinori Muto, Florian Lejeune, Eias Sorensen and Kelland Watts.

Paul Dummett making more starts than anybody else in that last promotion season, plus he’s another one who will be aged 30 or over by the end of next season, he turns 30 in September (2021).

Lack of decisive action leaves Newcastle United in situations like this. Difficult to believe they wanted to give Dwight Gayle anything like a three year deal but not doubt he insisted on a full three years, his bargaining position that of course if he left this summer Newcastle wouldn’t have got any transfer fee.

Interesting to see what the next ambitious Newcastle United contract will be…maybe another three years for Andy Carroll!


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