With the January window fast approaching, the emphasis may be on new signings and salvaging our struggling start to the season, but there’s several players in this NUFC squad who look very likely to leave.
Here’s a few I’d expect to see the club move on in the new year – whether that be on loan or via permanent transfer:
After wanting to return down south due to personal reasons, the midfielder handed in a transfer request over the summer. He has looked desperately out of sorts since we refused to sanction a late move away and, if Rafa can get a replacement signed in January, he’ll almost certainly leave you should think – especially with Shelvey, Diame and Ki all ahead of him in the pecking order as it is.
He’s insisted recently that he wants to fight for his place at the club and has made a decent impact at U-23 level after requesting to play for the reserves, however Benitez looks no closer to giving him a first-team call-up. If we sign a left-back in January, he could be the first to leave.
Freddie Woodman (Loan)
A loan move is what he needs, but someone could try and sign him permanently if we don’t start handling his situation much better than we have been recently. A temporary move away to the Football League was strangely ‘blocked’ by the club over the summer, but he will surely be sent out on loan this time around.
I’m unsure about this one, but Darlow has played just once all season (in the Carabo Cup) and must be frustrated at his lack of game time since Dubravka arrived. It would not surprise me if he secured a move to a Championship club in January – although selling him could mean we keep Woodman around or sign another back-up stopper, with Rob Elliot being our only other option in reserve.
He’s due to return from his loan spell with Slovan Liberec in the new year, and he’s done little to convince Rafa he’s up to playing at Premier League level so far. He’s now been dropped to the bench over the past three weeks and his failure to make an impact in the Czech League may mean the writing is on the wall for him at NUFC unless something changes – and quickly..
Would you keep any of these at NUFC – or do you feel we’re best letting these go in January?