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Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson – Bad news as Newcastle United give update

1 month ago
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Those looking for a positive lift as Newcastle United stumble towards the new season, had best look away now.

An update from the club on fitness and availability as we are now only a week away from the Premier League kicking off.

Newcastle United having released training images from Thursday’s session.

Steve Bruce has been giving constantly positive messages about having key players available by the time the season kicks off but as we have found so often in the past, the Head Coach’s positive fitness and likely availability updates aren’t exactly something you can rely on.

Conspicuous by their absence in Thursday’s training photos…

No Allan Saint-Maximin. Said to be suffering from an ‘illness’, ASM hasn’t featured since the second friendly at Doncaster and with his ongoing absence, is set to make it four friendlies missed in a row when Newcastle take on Norwich tomorrow. A player who relies so much on pace and energy, as well as trickery, it is now surely all but certain ASM won’t be starting against West Ham in nine days time.

Callum Wilson a very similar story. Steve Bruce had been keen to play down his hamstring injury as a minor one but yet again absent from training yesterday and having missed the last two friendlies, the striker will make it three missed in a row with the Norwich one. Meaning surely he will also be missing from the team that faces West Ham. Even if making rapid progress next week in training, far too big a risk to throw Callum Wilson straight in after such an interrupted pre-season preparation, especially with the countless hamstring injuries the striker has had in the past.

Looking through the images from Thursday’s training, these are the first team squad members we spotted:

Miguel Almiron, Ciaran Clark, Karl Darlow, Federico Fernandez, Ryan Fraser, Dwight Gayle, Mark Gillespie, Isaac Hayden, Jeff Hendrick, Joelinton, Emil Krafth, Jamaal Lascelles, Jamal Lewis,Matty Longstaff, Sean Longstaff, Javier Manquillo, Jacob Murphy, Matt Ritchie, Fabian Schar, Jonjo Shelvey, Freddie Woodman

Goalkeeping coach Simon Smith had already reported on Wednesday that Karl Darlow had returned to the training pitch but is only doing ‘light’ training after a serious bout of covid that left him in hospital. Like ASM and Callum Wilson, Darlow won’t be making the starting eleven when the Premier League kicks off.

Likewise Jonjo Shelvey, he managed half an hour on Tuesday in the defeat to Burnley but after missing the entire pre-season up to then, his recovery will extend beyond being available to start against West Ham.

Javier Manquillo has not played a minute in the pre-season friendlies and rarely seen in training. No explanation ever given by the club for his absences but he was seen back in training on Thursday.

A host of Under 23 players have had to be drafted into the first team training and friendlies to fill the gaps left by the injured / ill and the complete absence of any new signings, that continuing on Thursday where a number of the kids were spotted alongside the first team squad.

So when it comes to players missing from the training images, we have:

Callum Wilson

Callum Wilson only managed 23 Premier League starts last season and throughout his career the striker has repeatedly been ruled out due to hamstring issues, as well as other injuries on top.

For me, no chance of starting against West Ham.

Martin Dubravka

Surgery on a broken metatarsal and will miss start of season, unknown as to exactly when we can expect him back.

Allan Saint-Maximin

ASM has only managed to start 42 of the 76 Premier League games so far these past two years, Bruce has to tread very carefully with the French winger.

Another one for me who surely can’t (shouldn’t) start against West Ham, whatever Steve Bruce tells us in the next week.

Miguel Almiron 

Almiron joined in with training for the first time on Wednesday.

With so little training and minutes (will he even get any on Saturday?) in pre-season friendlies, he might make the squad against West Ham possibly but surely no chance of starting.

Elliot Anderson

Steve Bruce has confirmed his hip injury issue after The Mail originally reported the young midfielder had been told to rest for at least a month to try and solve the problem.

Paul Dummett

Had been involved in all of the first three friendlies but then Steve Bruce confirmed a ‘nick on the calf’ had put him on the injury list again. When asked about Dummett after the defeat at Burnley, Bruce appeared to indicate no chance of the Geordie defender been available to start against West Ham, seemingly confirmed by his ongoing absence from training.

Newcastle United pre-season friendlies:

Sunday 18 July – York City 1 Newcastle 0

Sunday 18 July Harrogate Town 2 Newcastle 1 (This was originally a first team fixture with some Under 23 added but it became solely a Under 23 NUFC players after Karl Darlow tested positive for Covid and first team and Under 23s had to be kept apart)

Friday 23 July – Doncaster 2 Newcastle 3

Tuesday 27 July – Rotherham 1 Newcastle 1

Friday 30 July – Burton Albion 0 Newcastle 2

Tuesday 3 August – Burnley 1 Newcastle 0

Saturday 7 August – Norwich home (2pm)

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