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Are these the 19 ‘loved’ Newcastle United players that Eddie Howe is saying now have to leave?

4 days ago
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Eddie Howe raised a few eyebrows after the defeat on Sunday.

Following the loss to Manchester City, the Newcastle United Head Coach turning his attention to next season.

The Newcastle United players who will AND won’t be still at St James Park.

Recruitment is obviously a never ending process (unless Mike Ashley is in charge and furloughs the entire recruitment team and/or allows only one player (Willock) to be signed in an entire year / two windows) but Eddie Howe and the NUFC owners have had the extra advantage of safety realistically reached some five or six weeks before the end of the season. Which allowed all the focus to be on what is needed for the Premier League next season, rather than having to bear in mind a plan B in case of relegation.

Eddie Howe has also been keen to talk of ‘Evolution not Revolution’ when it comes to upgrading the team / squad.

However, I have a feeling that we will see a real flurry of action very quickly, once this season is out of the way.

Which will be essential, considering that once we get to this upcoming weekend, it will be only 12 weeks until the 2022/23 Premier League season kicks off, due to the World Cup ensuring it is an earlier start than usual.

Eddie Howe said this on Sunday about the transfer window(s) ahead:

“Players that you love and have a great relationship with, they sometimes have to leave for the benefit of the team (and the players themselves).

“Those decisions can wait until the end of the season.

“For me now, it is about making judgements on everyone.

“On the training ground and on days like today, when I’m making judgements on players’ futures, based on what I see.”

It wasn’t ‘love’ that underpinned Mike Ashley’s decisions on the transfer market and handing out new contracts, simply a case of what was the cheapest option he thought he could get away with.

Over many seasons and transfer windows Ashley left Newcastle United short, due to a lack of investment and long term planning with the squad.

This situation made all the worse when Mike Ashley’s final two transfer windows saw only one player, Joe Willock, arrive at St James Park. The owner preferring to give countless existing players new contracts, whether they were up to the job or not…

This is now left to Eddie Howe and the new owners to sort out, meaning far more players than normal need to be shipped out, ideally.

I have gone through the entire Newcastle United squad and out of 34 NUFC players, identified 15 that Eddie Howe will almost definitely keep, which leaves 19 who I think he could well be willing to let go, no matter how much they were ‘loved’ (or not) in the past…

Goalkeepers:

Keep:

Martin Dubravka, Dan Langley

We loved you but afraid you need to leave now:

Karl Darlow, Mark Gillespie, Freddie Woodman

Defenders:

Keep:

Dan Burn, Fabian Schar, Kieran Trippier, Emil Krafth, Paul Dummett, Matt Targett (has to be made a permanent signing this summer),

We loved you but afraid you need to leave now:

Jamal Lewis, Jamaal Lascelles, Federico Fernandez, Ciaran Clark, Kelland Watts (only 22 and on loan helped Wigan get promoted but having been named on the bench 20 times in their League One season, difficult to see how he can make the leap to Premier League), Javier Manquillo

Central midfielders:

Keep:

Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton, Joe Willock. Elliot Anderson

We loved you but afraid you need to leave now:

Jonjo Shelvey, Sean Longstaff, Jeff Hendrick, Matty Longstaff, Isaac Hayden

Wingers / Attacking midfielders:

Keep:

Ryan Fraser

We loved you but afraid you need to leave now:

ASM, Jacob Murphy, Miguel Almiron, Matt Ritchie

Strikers:

Keep:

Callum Wilson, Chris Wood

We loved you but afraid you need to leave now:

Dwight Gayle

Apart from those who are coming to the end of their contracts next month (30 June 2022), you need other clubs wanting your players, if you are going to be able to move them on.

In that respect, I think Eddie Howe and the new owners will be far more ruthless when it comes to cutting deals, prepared to do what it takes to move out as many unwanted players as possible. In order to make room for essential new signings and to help fund them.

Obviously, not all 19 Newcastle United players identified above, will leave this summer. However, I think every chance the majority of them will.

I am not anti-ASM and will be more than happy if he stays, but I do get the feeling that he could be traded this summer, if somebody offers the right money.

For the vast majority of the other players though, you are looking at far harder sells. Especially when taking into account so many daft contracts handed out by Mike Ashley instead of bringing in the essential new signings that were needed.

When it comes to tough love and who ideally should / shouldn’t be kept, I think the only question you need to ask yourself is whether you see that player as an automatic first choice next season. If the answer is no, then you have to accept that there is a strong case for moving them out. That of course doesn’t apply to say Elliot Anderson, who looks to have a great future ahead of him but not first choice in the PL just yet.

I have put down as ‘Keep’ some players who I think will be squad players, such as Wood, Dummett, Krafth and a few others.

Plus it is inevitable that a number of others will also stay on as squad players, maybe the likes of Shelvey and one or two others.

However, a lot of evolution is needed…

Even though only Joe Willock was recruited in 2021, there were still eight senior players moved out permanently – Yedlin, Lejeune, Aarons, Saivet, Carroll, Muto, Atsu and Lazaar.

So this summer, it isn’t crazy to expect as a minimum double figures to leave, especially taking into account the January 2022 signings and no senior players moving out permanently that month.

Exciting times ahead and time to say farewell to some ‘loved’ ones…

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