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22 Newcastle United players – First choice and back up for every position for new season

2 weeks ago
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Only six weeks now until the Newcastle United players take to the pitch for the opening game of the Premier League season.

Nottingham Forest the visitors to St James Park on Saturday 6 August.

Ahead of that, in nine days time the Newcastle United players return for pre-season on Friday 1 July, only nine days time, though those who have been on international duty this summer are expected to be offered the chance of a little more time off.

The job of refreshing the NUFC squad has started to click into gear, with Isaac Hayden and Freddie Woodman having moved out, whilst Matt Targett has become a permanent signing after his successful loan spell.

I’ve gone through the current options at the club as things currently stand, although I have added Nick Pope. As the Burnley keeper is expected on Tyneside tomorrow to take his medical and complete a move to Newcastle. A transfer fee of around £10m has been widely reported.

So I have used this current group as things stand (plus Nick Pope), to come up with the 22 Newcastle United players, the first choice and back up for every position for the new season:

Goalkeeper

Martin Dubravka (Nick Pope)

Right back

Kieran Trippier (Emil Krafth)

Left back

Matt Targett (Jamal Lewis)

Centre backs

Fabian Schar, Dan Burn (Jamaal Lascelles, Paul Dummett)

Central midfielders

Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton, Jonjo Shelvey (Joe Willock, Sean Longstaff, Elliot Anderson)

Wide attackers

Allan Saint-Maximin, Ryan Fraser (Miguel Almiron, Jacob Murphy)

Centre forward

Callum Wilson (Chris Wood)

Now obviously this is subject to change…the arrival of Botman, Ekitike and whoever, would obviously then see some of those above falling down the pecking order.

By my reckoning, this means that the following are all Newcastle United players who I think the club will be trying to move on: Mark Gillespie, Matt Ritchie, Federico Fernández, Karl Darlow, Dwight Gayle, Jeff Hendrick, Ciaran Clark, Kell Watts, Matty Longstaff, Javier Manquillo

A third goalkeeper will be named in the final NUFC Premier League 25 man senior squad but that is likely to depend on whether Karl Darlow or Mark Gillespie is moved on. Unless of course we see a complete change (with the exception of Dubravka) in the goalkeeping department and Eddie Howe bring another keeper in, as well as Nick Pope.

Whilst Elliot Anderson could still go out on loan, I think every chance Eddie Howe could keep him at least for the first half of the season, to work with him and see how he performs in and around the senior players in training. The fact that next season you have nine subs on the bench and can play five of them, means there is far more scope for Howe to potentially involve Anderson in matchday squads and bits and pieces of time on the pitch. Training every day with Bruno Guimaraes would do him no harm!

I think that even if the likes of Ekitike and Botman don’t sign in the end, Newcastle will be bringing in new signings in those positions. Once a centre-back arrives, I think Jamaal Lascelles will definitely leave, as that would drop him to fourth choice centre back at best.

If another central midfielder is added that pushes Jonjo Shelvey down the pecking order, I think he could be heading off.

I think Jacob Murphy is another who will have to look at getting a new club as well, once the squad is strengthened.

Still a lot of movement lying ahead, with hopefully most of that (both in and out) sorted at least a few weeks in advance of the season kicking off.

The clock is ticking but the transfer market does now appear to be clicking into gear, so expect plenty players on the move across the Premier League in the near future.

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