Newcastle United have enjoyed something of a middle of the road season during the 2019/20 season, which is far better than anyone ever actually expected in all honesty.
With a squad propped up by loans and a few Championship calibre players, what should Newcastle do with their team in the summer?
I’ve gone through the entire first team squad to determine the players I think United should keep and which ones they should sell.
Newcastle United squad
Rob Elliot – SELL
Been a good servant to the club over the last decade or so. He’s played his part when called upon but I think it’s probably time to move on and bring through some of the younger guns.
Karl Darlow – SELL
Again, Karl Darlow has been a good servant to the club and, for the most part, has provided an able deputy to both Tim Krul and now Martin Dubravka. He played the number one role in the Championship to good effect, but I think it’s time United bring back Freddie Woodman and give him more opportunites.
Martin Dubravka – KEEP
Obviously keep. For me, he’s the best keeper in the league outside of the top six teams. He’s the main reason Newcastle aren’t rock bottom of the league this season. Selling him would be the stupidest thing anyone has ever done…
Ciaran Clark – KEEP
A year ago, I would have most definitely said sell, but Clark has proved himself as a very good defender this year in some big games. He was monumental when Newcastle beat Chelsea back in January. Maybe another year or so on Tyneside.
Paul Dummett – KEEP
Local boy, very solid defender, probably due the captains armband at some point in the next couple of years.
Fabian Schar – KEEP
When he’s on form, there aren’t many better defenders that Fabian Schar. He adds an offensive threat too with his power in the air as well as the ability to drive forward with the ball. Fantastic player, keep him at all costs.
Jamaal Lascelles – KEEP
Good defender, club captain – obvious keep. Had a spell on the sidelines earlier in the season and without him the defence looked a shadow of the unit it had been with him. Guy is a natural born leader.
Federico Fernandes – KEEP
Another one that at the start of the season I thought for sure I would say to sell, but he’s had a great season this year. Club opted to trigger a one year extension on his deal, which is logical. Keep him on Tyneside for another year then let him move on.
Javi Manquillo – KEEP
Due to the lack of full-backs with any sort of defensive ability, it’d be silly to lose Manquillo. Weirdly, he’s probably Newcastle’s best defensive right-back, which is another thing I cannot believe I’ve just written.
Florian Lejeune – SELL
While a great defender on his day, Lejeune is inconsistent, incredibly injury prone and turns 29 later this season. If you can get a decent transfer fee for him, I’d take it all day long. I do like the guy, but it makes sense to sell him and move on to somebody with sturdier knees.
Deandre Yedlin – SELL
A very likable guy don’t get me wrong, but his footballing ability leaves a lot to be desired. If he wasn’t faster than most 100 metre sprinters, he’d be lucky to get into most Championship teams. Can’t defend, can’t cross, and uses his pace to get himself out of many a sticky situation. Cash in.
Jetro Willems (LOAN) – Bring him back
Jetro Willems has been on loan at Newcastle this season and proved to be very popular. He linked up well with Allan Saint-Maximin down the left wing before he suffered a season ending injury in January. United have an option to buy and would be stupid not to use it. He seems to want the move too – he keeps teasing us on Insta.
Emil Krafth – SELL
Bit of a weird signing from the outset to be honest. He’s made just six starts in the league and struggled in most of them – probably not the clubs best bit of business. Shuffle him out the back door quietly and pretend it didn’t happen.
Danny Rose (LOAN) – NO
If Newcastle bring back Jetro Willems, they don’t very well need an aging Danny Rose. Let him go back to Spurs and find another team.
Jonjo Shelvey – KEEP
Has his critics but Shelvey has been good for Newcastle when he has played this season. He didn’t seem to see eye-to-eye with Rafa Benitez but Steve Bruce’s softer player management style seems to have worked a treat.
Matt Ritchie – KEEP
Useful in a number of positions. You could put this guy in goal and I’m pretty sure he’d do a solid job. He’s just signed a new deal and is a real leader in the dressing room – as long as he’s happy to be at the club, keep him.
Isaac Hayden – KEEP
Been one of Newcastle’s most solid and consistent performers for the better part of two years. After expressing his desire to leave the club last season to be closer to his family, his professionalism never waivered. Now, he seems happy here – and he’s playing very well. Keep at ALL costs.
Miguel Almiron – KEEP!!!!!!!!
If Newcastle sell Miggy this summer I will riot. His energy, quality and sheer enthusiasm for the game just make him the perfect player to wear the black and white. Love the guy like he’s a family member. If you’re reading this Miguel, you’re welcome round for tea any time – post-pandemic of course.
Christian Atsu – SELL
Good guy and a very hard worker, but simply isn’t good enough. Move him on and look to bring in a replacement either from the Championship or abroad.
Sean Longstaff – KEEP
Hasn’t exactly had the amazing season we hoped he would this year, but he’s shown glimpses of the excellent footballer we know he has the potential to become. No way should he be allowed to leave.
Matty Longstaff – KEEP!!!!!!!
There’s been talk linking Matty, who is out of contract this summer, with a move to Inter Milan among others. He burst onto the scene in Newcastle earlier in the season , bagging the winner against Man United at St James’ Park. He’s been brilliant since – and should be kept at all costs. Give him whatever he wants.
Nabil Bentaleb (loan) – Yes
Newcastle have an option to buy Bentaleb at the end of his loan for a fee I believe is in the region of £10m. He’s shown some great technical ability, with a little bit of rust, but what can you expect having not played for nine months? I like him and know what he is capable of. Bring him back.
Valentino Lazaro (loan) – Yes/No
I’m unsure on this one because, in the small bits we’ve seen of him, Lazaro looks a very good footballer. However, it was reported in January that he wanted to use Newcastle to get back into the Inter team. If he doesn’t want to be at the club, let him go. There’s no room for players who don’t want to wear the shirt.
Joelinton – KEEP
Despite what people and stats will have you believe, Joelinton’s done alright this season. He’s played out of position in an unfamiliar league in a team that spends most of the game behind the ball. Give him time. Give Bruce time to assemble a bunch of players to play around him and allow Joelinton to play how he wants.
Yoshinori Muto – SELL
Whenever he does play, he normally looks alright. Despite that, he hasn’t really managed to make an impact at the club and will not be much of a loss if he is to leave. Cash in if you can, spend the wages on somebody who will actually play.
Allan Saint-Maximin – KEEP
Obviously. It’s been a long while since I’ve seen a player with as much talent as Saint-Maximin wearing black and white. Add to that his humility, social media banter and genuine love for the city already – you’ve got a winning formula. Great signing, keep at all costs.
Andy Carroll – KEEP-ish
Andy Carroll is out of contract at the end of the season. When he’s played this season, he’s been pretty good. He’s a positive influence in the dressing room too. If the club can agree a pay-as-you-play deal with him, keep him.
Tom Allan – KEEP, but loan
Tom Allan has made a few forays into the first team this season in the FA Cup especially. He’s looked pretty good too. For me, he should be kept on the books but loaned out – preferably to the second or third division.
There are plenty of decent players in this squad who have done more than enough to stick around for more time. United are also carrying a bit of dead wood, so there’ll have to be some changes in the next window – but maybe not as many as I thought.