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27 Newcastle United players analysis – Good enough? Keep in January? Ultimate verdict

4 weeks ago

A lot of talk, obviously, on who will be the new Newcastle United players that arrive this month.

However, what about those already at the club?

Which existing Newcastle United players are good enough?

Taking on the task, Jonathan Drape-Comyn has gone through the following 27 Newcastle United players, assessing them on exactly how good (or not) they are, as well as his opinion on whether they should be kept for the short-term (rest of the season), then the ultimate verdict on each of the twenty seven.

Martin Dubravka

Would have been a shoe in six months ago but he hasn’t looked the same since coming back from injury. Clearly streets ahead of Darlow but I sense we can do better if we want to go to the next level.

Keep in January? Absolutely.

Ultimate verdict: Needs to prove himself again and some proper competition is needed alongside him.

Ciaran Clark

Has he ever been good enough? I don’t remember a time when he was good. Garbage right now.

Keep in January? Get rid immediately.

Ultimate verdict: Whatever way, this will be his last season in the Premier League.

Paul Dummett

I honestly forgot he existed! How long has been out injured? Another one with everything to prove.

Keep in January? Yes, keep around.

Ultimate verdict: His versatility may be useful to keep around but let’s be honest, if he wasn’t a Geordie, he’d be long gone.

Fabian Schar

An experienced international defender who has played at the highest level. Has the odd howler in him but certainly good enough to keep us up?

Keep in January? Nailed on.

Ultimate verdict: Deserves to stay and should be seen as the minimum standard when improving the squad.

Jamaal Lascelles

If he wasn’t captain, then I don’t think he’d be in the starting eleven.

Keep in January? Definitely.

Ultimate verdict: Get rid in the summer though, new captain is needed because he isn’t good enough on the pitch.


Wow! What a change… if he carries on with his current form then dare I say it, he’ll end up being well worth the 40 million.

Keep in January? 100% yes.

Ultimate verdict: Keep for sure. Looks like he has the potential right now to go on and be a world beater.

Jonjo Shelvey

I’ll never be a fan but we have to make do with what we have. I also don’t see this area of the field being a big priority in the transfer window. Even if the likes of Ramsey come in, I suspect it’ll be to partner Shelvey, rather than replace.

Keep in January? Yes.

Ultimate verdict: Not the type of player or character we want moving forward. I doubt he’ll prove me wrong but I am happy to be surprised.

Callum Wilson

Our most important player alongside ASM… I just wish he could keep himself fit!

Keep in January? Yes.

Ultimate verdict: Has been massive for us but his fitness levels leave a lot to be desired. If we got a decent offer for him then I would get rid and use that money to buy more reliable centre forward.

Allan Saint-Maximin

Our best and most important player.

Keep in January? Obviously.

Ultimate verdict: Give him what he wants, keep him happy and build the squad around him.

Matt Ritchie

Out of his depth but I think in the big games, big moments, filling in for injured players, his versatility can still be relied upon.

Keep in January? Keep around until summer.

Ultimate verdict: Needs to be shifted in summer irrespective of what division we are in.

Jamal Lewis

Has shown a lot of potential since breaking into the team under Howe… needs to sort his fitness out though.

Keep in January? Definitely.

Ultimate verdict: Has the potential to become a top left back…

Isaac Hayden

Has been hit and miss this season but I think he can do a job as a holding midfielder in big games.

Keep in January? A no-brainer for me, yes.

Ultimate verdict: Even in a much-improved squad, I think there is a place for Hayden. Obviously not as a starter but certainly as a holding midfielder and effective substitute.

Jeff Hendrick

Waste of a squad place.

Keep in January? Get rid.

Ultimate verdict: Lucky to be able to call himself a Premier League footballer.

Emil Krafth

A terrible defender but if he plays in his best position at right back, then he may do for now as a decent back up.

Keep in January? Keep around until the summer.

Ultimate verdict: Not good enough.

Javi Manquillo

Has been one of our most consistent performers this season. Looks comfortable at right and left back.

Keep in January? Absolutely. Underrated.

Ultimate verdict: Maybe not the standard we want to aspire to but a really decent squad player and reliable to have around.

Fede Fernandez

Criminally under used by Bruce and surprised he hasn’t had much of a look in under Howe before getting injured. I think he’s kept out of the side purely because Lascelles is the skipper.

Keep in January? Definitely. Should be a key player alongside any new centre back signed.

Ultimate verdict: 40 odd caps for Argentina, plays well every time I see him play, what’s going on?

Ryan Fraser

Much improved under Howe but I still think he has to show much more to justify a place.

Keep in January? Yes!

Ultimate verdict: I don’t think he is going to be good enough for where we want to go but if do go down, then could be a massive player in the Championship.

Jacob Murphy

Hasn’t done anything to show he was worth the money spent on him and I can’t believe he got a new contract. Nowhere near good enough.

Keep in January? If Trippier is to come in, and another attacking winger, then I’d cash in if we can.

Ultimate verdict: A decent age but just not very good. I reckon a few Championship teams would be happy to spend a few million on him.

Miguel Almiron

A massive disappointment for me. Looks weak and just doesn’t offer enough. Has been here for three years now and hasn’t bulked up at all.

Keep in January? I guess…but I’d get rid if a decent offer came in.

Ultimate verdict: I’d be surprised if he turned out to be good enough. Just don’t think he’s cut out for the Premier League.

Karl Darlow

Not good enough. We may be in a much better position if Dubravka had been fit this season.

Keep in January? Sure, OK back up.

Ultimate verdict: Get rid in the summer, even if we find ourselves in the Championship.

Freddie Woodman

Not a young lad anymore and not good enough.

Keep in January? Just get rid and let him get on with his career.

Ultimate verdict: Let him go now.

Joe Willock

Honestly, one of the worst players I have ever seen play for Newcastle. Had one or two good games when he joined and went on a fluky goal scoring run.

Keep in January? Six more months to prove his worth…

Ultimate verdict: I’d be shocked if he was playing higher than League One in five years time.

Mark Gillespie

Another one I had totally forgotten about…

Keep in January? Who cares?

Ultimate verdict: Likely to be kept for any future English player quota

Elliot Anderson

Would be nice if he got a chance but I haven’t seen anything so far to suggest he is good enough.

Keep in January? Send out on loan.

Ultimate verdict: The standard of our academy players remains depressingly low. Would be amazed if he even got near Championship or SPL.

Dwight Gayle

Who on earth gave him a new contract? A deal so symptomatic of the Ashley era.

Keep in January? Yes… unless we really need the squad space. You never know what important goal he might pop up with.

Ultimate verdict: Will leave at the end of the season regardless.

Sean Longstaff

Hasn’t improved since his first few decent games under Rafa. Remember when we all thought he was better than Declan Rice?

Keep in January? Another one with six months to prove himself…

Ultimate verdict: Can’t see him being anywhere near the standard for a decent PL team but may just cut it for us in the Championship if needed.

Matty Longstaff

Couldn’t get a game under Bruce and couldn’t get a game for Aberdeen.

Keep in January? Yes, although we already know he isn’t going to be good enough.

Ultimate verdict: Needs to leave and get cracking with his career.

You can follow Jonathan on Twitter @jonnyinsg


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