There has been a lot of speculation linking players to the club already this summer, but very little talk of players leaving. By my reckoning, we actually have a squad of 25 already, so clearly we still need to make room for incomings.
The only player in the 25 that is under 21 years of age is Rolando Aarons. However this season we are required to have 8 home grown players, which we will struggle to meet with outgoings and our liking for cheap foreign imports – therefore I am assuming the club will register Aarons in the first team squad to help meet the criteria. In any case, I cannot see the club buying a senior to pad out a 25 man quota and treat Aarons as a junior in the process. He is already a key player when fit.
This summer will see a few players return from loans, such as Haris Vuckic, Jamaal Lascelles, Karl Darlow and Sylvain Marveaux. We know couple of those will be kept, but would you keep Vuckic and Marveaux? The former had a very good season at Rangers and was arguably their best player when played just behind the front two.
Meanwhile, Cheick Tiote and Papiss Cisse are being linked with moves away to Turkey. Tiote is a good player on his day, but has had lengthly spells on the treatment table and when present, has been criticised for a loss of form. Is it time for him to go? We may be buying a top striker this summer (allegedly), but would it really make sense to flog last seasons top scorer just to help raise funds? Moussa Sissoko has been linked with moves to Champion’s League clubs and has made it clear that he would jump ship given the chance. After a season of up and down form and questions around his commitment, do we really want to keep a mercenary on the books – or is he just too good to let go? In defense Steven Taylor is perennially injured but still considered a better defender than Mike Willamson (except when his suicidal decision making comes to the fore). Should we let one or both of them go to make room for a top defender to come in?
Have players like Remy Cabella, Vurnon Anita and Sammy Ameobi really flattered to deceive, or has the poor quality of our coaching staff meant that the players’ quality has not been given the chance to shine through thanks to bad training drills and tactics? Would you give these players another go under a new coaching set up?
I have set up a pole below. We will go with a majority rule – so whichever players have less than 50% by the time the vote closes tomorrow will get the thumbs down from the Toon faithful and we will expect the player to be moved on by August and replaced by somebody more deserving to wear the shirt! Our budget is not going to be massive and we are unlikely to buy loads of players, so bear that in mind when you are wielding your virtual axe!
Turns out I forgot to put Marveaux into the squad, so we in fact have a squad of 26. Vote on his fate below;