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‘7 Newcastle United players to leave this summer’ – Try 17 (SEVENTEEN)

4 months ago
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Saturday has brought news of an exodus of Newcastle United players this summer.

The Times saying that their information is that players who cost in total around £70m will be moved on, hopefully.

Those departing Newcastle United players freeing up places in the squad, as well as generating some cash via transfer fees, as well as savings on wages.

The seven named by The Times are Miguel Almiron, Dwight Gayle, Jamaal Lewis, Isaac Hayden, Ciaran Clark, Emil Krafth and Karl Darlow.

The thing is, this list above is surely only scratching the surface, certainly the case if / when NUFC avoid relegation.

Rather than 7 Newcastle United players to leave this summer, I would say try 17 (SEVENTEEN).

That may sound a little dramatic BUT it is simply a case of playing catch up.

The disastrous combination of Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce saw Newcastle United completely fail to renew / refresh the first team squad in any kind of proper manner, transfer window after transfer window. The final year or so of their reign, seeing things really hit rock bottom in terms of building for the future in any kind of feasible way. Their final two transfer windows saw only one player signed (Joe Willock), whilst instead of bringing in other much needed new faces in pretty much every area of the squad, instead we saw some simply ridiculous new contracts handed out to existing players. Some of these players getting contracts up to six years in length, many of them deals taking players well into their thirties, many of these Newcastle United players getting significant new contracts not even good enough, in my opinion, to even be in NUFC’s then current first team. Never mind if any ambition was ever to be shown in the short to medium term future…

As well as the seven Newcastle United players named by The Times, I would add these ten as almost certainly allowed to move on, making that total of 17 NUFC players:

Matty Longstaff, Sean Longstaff, Freddie Woodman, Mark Gillespie, Jeff Hendrick, Paul Dummett, Jamaal Lascelles, Matt Ritchie, Federico Fernandez, Jacob Murphy

As I see things, providing Newcastle United remain in the Premier League, this is the base camp / starting point for Eddie Howe and the new owners, when it comes to a core of the squad to keep:

Goalkeepers

Martin Dubravka

Defenders

Dan Burn, Kieran Trippier, Matt Targett, Javier Manquillo, Fabian Schar

Midfielders

Joe Willock, Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton

Attacking midfielders / wingers

Allan Saint-Maximin, Ryan Fraser

Strikers

Callum Wilson, Chris Wood

As I say above, it sounds dramatic talking about seventeen players all up for sale / allowed to leave, but as I also say, it simply is in many cases, what should have happened one, two, three, four…or more, years ago in so many cases.

The reality is of course that moving on all seventeen will prove impossible, not least because certain players were given such ridiculous new contracts by Ashley and Bruce.

In the thirteen I name as Newcastle United players to keep, one of them (Matt Targett) isn’t even ours, yet!

Of the more notable ones above, that you may be surprised at / disagree with me, Jamaal Lascelles probably a stand out. He has been a decent servant to the club but I can’t see any way he will be first choice for Newcastle next season, he simply doesn’t suit a team that will be trying to play football out from the back, the likes of Schar and Burn showing already in recent weeks a level of ability with the ball at their feet that the captain simply doesn’t have in his armoury. At this stage of his career, Lascelles needs first team football and won’t settle for being a squad player.

There is always a chance I suppose that Freddie Woodman could potentially bounce back and become second to Martin Dubravka, and / or that Mark Gillespie could remain as third choice. Whilst maybe Paul Dummett could be offered another year as back up, despite his ongoing injury problems which have left him so often unavailable.

However, we are simply talking about squad players and not key individuals who Eddie Howe will definitely want to keep.

Put it this way, if you currently are fit and haven’t been getting a game, where will it leave you when another half dozen or more new signings are made in the summer? Obviously Bruno Guimaraes is an exception as he settles into the squad and Premier League football but I don’t see many other exceptions.

In reality, if you look at say the thirteen above which includes Matt Targett, if Newcastle buy him and another six or seven others in the summer, you are then up to a 20 man match day squad. So you are only then looking at places for another five or so Newcastle United players in the NUFC Premier League 25 man squad.

Eddie Howe and the new owners won’t need to do this kind of level of squad turnover every season but sadly it is essential to try and repair as much of the damage caused by years and years of Mike Ashley, as soon as humanly possible. Once the NUFC squad can get to a certain level of quality across all areas, you then move into a situation where you are looking for far fewer new signings each season, very much quality over quantity as you fine tune and constantly look to raise the quality at the top end.

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