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Transfer Market

Newcastle United midfielder admits ‘strong possibility’ he’s played his last game for NUFC

3 weeks ago
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A lot of Newcastle United players wondering about their futures, amongst them is Jeff Hendrick.

The midfielder seems like a decent bloke and puts the effort in…but somebody who clearly isn’t a Premier League level player.

Allowed to leave Burnley on a free, Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce snapped up Jeff Hendrick and gave him a ridiculously long four year contract, on a reported £50,000 a week.

Just one of the many examples of the incompetence of both Ashley and Bruce, a ‘bargain’ signing of a player who clearly was never going to be good enough and is simply one of countless problems that Eddie Howe and the new NUFC owners have inherited.

Jeff Hendrick now aged 30 and Newcastle United still committed to another two years of that reported £50,000 a week in wages.

Steve Bruce himself only gave Hendrick one Premier League start in his (Bruce’s) final ten months at St James Park, a typically exciting Bruce 0-0 draw at soon to be relegated West Brom. Only two PL sub appearances under Bruce last season and then only 10 Premier League minutes under Eddie Howe, in the 4-0 defeat against Man City in December 2021.

The limitations of Jeff Hendrick shown up when he went to QPR on loan in January, despite dropping to the second tier the 30 year old got only seven Championship starts.

As I said, just one of a serious number of players given daft contracts (combination of quality of the player(s), length of contract, size of wages) by Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce. A

Away now with the Republic of Ireland, Jeff Hendrick is looking forward to playing against Armenia on Saturday, with also Scotland to face and two matches against Ukraine. A rare run of action on the pitch lying ahead these next two weeks.

Jeff Hendrick has been asked about his club situation and admits there is a ‘strong possibility’ that he has played his last game for Newcastle United.

You can’t blame Jeff Hendrick, if somebody offered me or you £10m+ over four years to play for Newcastle United, we wouldn’t say no. However, unless the player is willing to take a massive drop in wages or NUFC are willing to give him a serious pay-off to end his contract now, it is very difficult to see how he can get a new club. You have to assume that even when on loan to QPR, Newcastle were still paying the vast majority of his wages.

So much media focus is put on higher level transfers and whether it is the right deal financially for Newcastle United and other clubs. However, I think it is far more damaging when as we saw under Mike Ashley, you saw over a decade and a half a ‘strategy’ of constantly looking for ‘bargains’ and no long-term plan allowed, meaning so many players recruited who weren’t good enough and the club ended up stuck with and unable to shift.

The last 12-18 months of Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce then seeing a disastrous policy of giving often ludicrous new contracts to existing players, rather than bringing in essential new better quality signings.

The idea to supposedly save money at a prudently run club…when in reality it was an all but certain route to relegation, as well as having countless players on your books who aren’t good enough and you struggle to move on.

Jeff Hendrick asked by the Irish Independent if he has played his last game for Newcastle United:

“I would say it’s a possibility, things can change, football is crazy like that, but it’s a strong possibility.

“Newcastle have done really well and brought some good players in and I can admit their midfield is very strong with the additions in January.

“I’m not the club, I’m not doing the buying or whatever, but I’d imagine they will strengthen the whole squad again in the summer.

“For me, it’s about being realistic and being prepared that I might need to go somewhere else for games.

“I’m at the age where I want to keep playing and keep going with the international side.

“It wouldn’t be beneficial for me to hang around and do what I did at the start of the year.

“It was from the November to January window where I didn’t play for two-and-a-half months, so I knew I needed to go and play games because I knew I couldn’t go from November to March without getting enough game-time. It would have been difficult for the manager [Republic of Ireland’s Stephen Kenny] here to justify playing me.

 “It was the strangest season for me at club level, with the lack of game-time I had but to come in and have the confidence in me to still perform was brilliant, I just tried to repay him [Stephen Kenny] with performances.”

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