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Opinion

Is this 2021/22 Newcastle United squad fit for purpose?

1 month ago
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What do you think of the current Newcastle United squad.

The 2021/22 Premier League season kicks off at the weekend and what do you think of the quality of players available as things stand?

Wednesday is day 64 of the transfer window and still not a single signing so far for Newcastle United, quite unbelievable.

Only 20 more days of the window left after today and whilst we hope Joe Willock is set to sign AND one or two others, we have to deal with the hand we have been dealt at things currently are.

These are my personal observations on the current Newcastle United squad, feel free to agree or disagree…

GOALKEEPERS

Very happy with: Martin Dubravka

Good enough: Freddie Woodman, Karl Darlow

OK as PL squad players / Back up: Mark Gillespie

Need to move on:

FULL BACKS / WING BACKS

Very happy with:

Good enough:

OK as squad players / Back up: Matt Ritchie, Jamal Lewis, Jacob Murphy, Javier Manquillo

Need to move on: Emil Krafth

CENTRAL DEFENDERS

Very happy with:

Good enough: Fabian Schar, Federico Fernandez, Jamaal Lascelles

OK as squad players / Back up: Paul Dummett, Ciaran Clark

Need to move on:

CENTRAL MIDFIELDERS

Very happy with:

Good enough:

OK as squad players / Back up: Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden, Sean Longstaff

Need to move on: Jeff Hendrick

ATTACKING MIDFIELDERS / WINGERS

Very happy with: Allan Saint-Maximin

Good enough: Miguel Almiron

OK as squad players / Back up: Ryan Fraser

Need to move on:

STRIKERS

Very happy with: Callum Wilson

Good enough:

OK as squad players / Back up: Joelinton, Dwight Gayle

Need to move on:

FINAL ANALYSIS

Very happy with:

Martin Dubravka, Allan Saint-Maximin, Callum Wilson

Good enough:

Freddie Woodman, Fabian Schar, Federico Fernandez, Jamaal Lascelles, Miguel Almiron

OK as PL squad players / Back up:

Karl Darlow, Mark Gillespie, Matt Ritchie, Jamal Lewis, Jacob Murphy, Javier Manquillo, Paul Dummett, Ciaran Clark, Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden, Sean Longstaff, Ryan Fraser, Joelinton, Dwight Gayle

Need to move on:

Emil Krafth, Jeff Hendrick

Since Newcastle United made their last permanent signing (Jamal Lewis) last summer, we have seen ten senior players leave NUFC.

The net result is that as you can see above, there are only 24 senior players in the Newcastle United squad as things stand AND that includes four goalkeepers.

So there is already room for Joe Willock when Newcastle United have to name their 25 man Premier League squad for the new season and indeed, room for one more if only three goalkeepers included as normal.

Then of course you have potentially more spaces if needed, as any numbers of the players above I would be happy to let go, if decent alternatives coming in.

For me, as I have indicated above, I think we have very few real quality players (Dubravka, ASM and Wilson), a handful of others who I think are more than good enough to have as first team starters (Almiron, Fernandez, Schar, Lascelles, Woodman).

However, after that I do see a whole host of players where if we were simply relying on any 11 of them, it would be a really poor team. You can get away with playing a certain number of them alongside better players – but not if they make up a big chunk of the team most of the time.

Joe Willock would be a decent size step for starters but in reality this Newcastle United squad needed far more added quality this summer, already over nine weeks of the transfer window wasted and less than three weeks until it ends now.

No disrespect but I think for so many Newcastle United fans, they have become used to the shambolic way the club is ran by Mike Ashley and the massive drop in standards down the years. This leads fans to go way over the top when a player shows relatively improved form like say Jacob Murphy, or puts a handful of decent performances together such as Matt Ritchie.

***Rules on U21 players

Under-21 players are eligible over and above the limit of 25 players per squad. For the 2021/22 campaign Under-21 players will have been born on or after 1 January 2000.

This means that the likes of goalkeeper Dan Langley and midfielders Matty Longstaff and Elliot Anderson are extras to the above senior options.

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