Five Young Magpies Who Could Flourish in The Championship

The news that Rafa Benitez had signed a new contract and agreed to stay on as manager has given Newcastle something I cannot recall any other relegated club having going into a pre-season…momentum. Genuine and positive momentum has seen Newcastle’s relegation transformed from bitter vitriol to new beginnings. Last week I named five senior players who should leave; it could have been eight, nine or ten in all honesty after a shocking season. But Newcastle do have a number of younger players (and by that I mean under 23) who have potential. And a season in The Championship could be a catalyst for several young magpies to make their mark on the first team; a chance they probably would not have had in the top tier. They also have the guidance of a top class manager who will bed them in properly to give them the best possible chance to grow.

Here’s who could make an impression next season

  1. Kevin Mbabu In Action Newcastle UnitedKevin Mbabu

The young Swiss defender seemed to be heading out of Newcastle at the end of the season as his contract appeared to be coming to an end. The Chronicle reported though that Newcastle had activated an extension clause to keep him at United for a further two years. They also suggested Mbabu may be sent out on loan but as Daryl Janmaat looks likely to leave this window and Anita possibly taking Tiote’s place in midfield, Mbabu could see significant game time at Newcastle.

Mbabu is strong, quick and committed, able to play at either full back and put in a memorable performance during Newcastle’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea this season. Signed as a player with great potential back in 2013 Mbabu struggled for fitness following his encouraging breakthrough but a season in The Championship could provide him with an ideal education. Just as Newcastle’s season in the second tier back in 2009-10 developed Jose Enrique, Mbabu could come on leaps and bounds if given a role at full back next term.

There are many variables at work here though. Janmaat is expected to leave but he may not. The same can said for Tiote. Vernon Anita could be installed as first team right back after performing so well for Rafa but he could also leave following his recent inclusions in the Dutch national side. If Mbabu is given an opportunity by Benitez though, he could be one to watch.

Click here to view the next Magpies player that could flourish in the Championship next season.

29 thoughts on “Five Young Magpies Who Could Flourish in The Championship

  1. Good work on this article Shearer’s mate. We’ll still have to see if several of these lads can stand up to the wear and tear of football. In particular I’m concerned about the number of injuries Aarons has already had.

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  2. Going by the next thread, think he would be great to have. Also with this one, hope these lads do come good, sure with the right coach and manager they can only get better

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  3. Could be losing a young player three clubs will pay up to 15mil for Perez and he seems interested,pleased we have just got him to sign a five year deal,but does that mean anything these days

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  4. Good read SRF, Yes I would be wanting to hang on to all of them tbh. If Janmaat leaves I would be inclined to play Anita at Rb as I think he has always looked pretty assured there, much more so than in MF where I think his physicality comes up a bit short.

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  5. From The Mail:

    “All the signs point to the Premier League and Football League turning down Aston Villa’s £60million takeover by Dr Tony Xia’s Chinese consortium, on the grounds that they haven’t the funds to do so.

    Well-placed sources claim that American Randy Lerner, who is trying to offload the club at a knockdown price, has already been told that Xia will not pass the necessary financial tests.”

    I hope so as the teams that have the parachute payments have a massive head start over the rest. Having Villa in complete disarray can only help us.

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  6. I think it is us and Norwich for the automatic spots and probably Derby next as Pearson has the experience and Derby have a decent squad and are willing to spend.

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  7. Hopefully, all 5 will make their mark in The Championship.

    Kimtoon: I think Janmaat will be in demand and will leave. Sissoko and Wijnaldum did not have the fight for the PL and will not have the heart for The Championship so they will leave. I hope some of these players step up as replacements, including, as you say, Anita.

    Krul and Perez look to be in demand. I would hang on at least until we get money from the 3 I mentioned above so we can find replacements.

    Age and their wish for a final payday will see Cisse and Tiote gone.

    That leaves Colocinni who, as I said on the last thread I am sure will be gone or be a bit part player. I would prefer a clean break now.

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  8. If we sell Krul we should get a 6 month loan until Elliot gets fit. Let him and Darlow go head to head for 1st choice keeper. I saw somebody say we should rotate keepers but when has that ever happened except in cups?

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  9. if Mbabu and Aarons can stay fit theyll do well in the Championship. Arma will be a handful alongside Mitro

    Mbemba is already a starter.
    Not too sure about Toney. looks a little clumsy whenever ive seen him play. I reckon he’ll be loaned out again.

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  10. Eric Sykes:
    Hopefully, all 5 will make their mark in The Championship.

    Kimtoon: I think Janmaat will be in demand and will leave. Sissoko and Wijnaldum did not have the fight for the PL and will not have the heart for The Championship so they will leave. I hope some of these players step up as replacements, including, as you say, Anita.

    Krul and Perez look to be in demand. I would hang on at least until we get money from the 3 I mentioned above so we can find replacements.

    Age and their wish for a final payday will see Cisse and Tiote gone.

    That leaves Colocinni who, as I said on the last thread I am sure will be gone or be a bit part player. I would prefer a clean break now.

    i agree with all of that Eric.. I’d even be tempted to cut our loses on Shelvey…We’ll also have a mil here and there from Riviere, Goofy, Thauvin etc…

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  11. Gashley: I a not so sure that Rafa doesn’t rate Shelvey. I thought it was more that he wanted to have the 2 defensive mids in front of a fragile and inexperienced centre back pairing. We needed to pick up at least draws from the last few games and try and nick a win. With just a little bit of luck we would have survived (you know, the Leicester hand ball in the penalty area, the 2 hand balls leading up to Norwich’s last kick goal and Aguero’s “goal” that was offside by 2 yards).

    Done now, but I think Shelvey has some talent but his skills may not have been what was needed in such a dire and desperate situation.

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  12. I am not even averse to keeping Sissoko, Janmaat and Wignaldum as I think they would absolutely destroy the Championship given the right guidance, tactics and belief. However, I think they will want out and will provide the funds for Rafa to reshape the squad.

    In a way in is a win/win.

    I have absolutely no doubt we will be promoted either way.

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  13. @Eric

    I’m not bothered what Rafa thinks…i’d cut my losses 😛 nah man. he’s ok but if someone offered slightly less than we paid, I’d accept. too slow for me and his main talent, passing..aint all that good.

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  14. It is quite difficult getting the balance right for the Championship of experience and youth in a lower quality division. I think the likes of Armstrong and Mbabu might bet a go at it but how many do you blood in at once? I reckon Rafa will look at maybe 2 or 3 maximum and the rest made up of experienced players with high quality.

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  15. Armstrong and Mbabu look like excellent prospects to me. Armstrong is a really good finisher. Even Pardew said he was the best at the club and that was 2 years ago. Scores all kinds of goals and is really adept at finding the corners of the goal. There are doubts about his size but there have been plenty of top strikers who are small from Gerd Muller to Defoe. I think he’ll make it big time and Mbabu can be a regular starter. Very tenacious.
    Aarons stayed pretty fit last season. If the injury worries are over we have a top player on our hands!

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  16. So Shola given the boot at Fleetwood,cannot even make it at that level got away with it at the toon for years,his brother is no better hope he gets shown the door by Rafa

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  17. Good article. And ties in with my opinion that I’d like to see some of the younger players given a full season with us to assess their potential. Tough to get too many games in the PL when the pressure is on, but hopefully several of them are easily good enough to play in the Championship.

    As for transfers, I’m predicting something like this:
    OUT: Colo (Argentina), Tiote ($$$), Cisse ($$$), Sissoko (PL), Gini (PL), Janmaat (Europe), Krul, Sammy, Riviere, Bigi, Goofy (if anyone will take his wages), Thauvin (possibly loan)
    IN: First team RB, squad CB, first team DM, first team ST, 2 first team AMs, several other young players with potential to fill out the squad.

    I’m hoping Mitrovic can curb his temper, Shelvey can learn consistency and Townsend can be persuaded to give us 1 season in the Championship (likely with the promise that he will be sold next summer if we fail to get promoted). I’m also going to predict that Taylor will stick around for a season, SDJ will get a little game time and Colback will be a key player.

    So that’s me hanging it out there…could be completely wrong!

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  18. TDS: I agree with most of what you say, except:

    We will be able to get decent money for Krul or may even offer him a new deal.

    I think they will not offer Taylor a new contract.

    I am not sure they have given up on Saivet, I think Rafa was going with experience so Henri was left out. Still, if he had been brilliant in training he might have forced his way in.

    I am 50/50 on Townsend as I think he might get an offer from a team like Southampton to replace Mane. Maybe even Leicester.

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  19. Lot of hedging bets there TDS with that list. Interesting that you would like a whole new midfield and still see space for Colback and Shelvey and (hopefully) Townsend. 6 man midfield?

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  20. Eric

    I agree we will get decent money for Krul. I didn’t mean that by $$$. I meant that Tiote and Cisse will go wherever the money is, Krul will go for good money but could be abroad or the PL. May offer him a new deal but not sure there’s much sense in keeping Krul, Elliott and Darlow, so I expect one of them to leave (on loan at the least).

    Impossible to judge Saivet as we’ve barely seen him. So I haven’t got an opinion there really. I’m 50/50 in Townsend too. I’d like to think that Rafa can convince him that we gave him his chance to get first team football, so he can be persuaded to give us 1 season. Wouldn’t blame him for going though, especially as he wants to force his way into the England squad. Agree that teams like Saints and Leicester would be very tempting.

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  21. Georgio

    Losing Tiote, Gini and Sissoko so need to replace some midfielders. Not sure about Shelvey either…but hoping.

    You’re right though, maybe I went one heavy on the first team midfielders. But possibly with a mind that one of Shelvey or Townsend might leave too. I also wonder whether we’ll play one up front or two?

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  22. TDS – Going on the last 6 games, neither Gini or Sissoko played as midfielders. I agree we need a new DM (Rafa doesn’t seem to fancy Saivet), striker and CB, possibly 2 CBs.
    There’s no second guessing Rafa though so I have no idea what our new team will look like.

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  23. TDS: I hope both Cisse and Tiote leave for the money. They are both 30 and have angled for moves and/or got strops on so they can do one. I have also had my fill of Cisse’s poor first touch as it breaks up so many moves. He is not even a decent target man so our clearances would end up with the opposition 90% of the time.

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  24. Eric

    Agree on Cisse and Tiote, their times are up. They don’t have any particular loyalty to this club, we haven’t heard them talking genuinely passionate about this club, and I really don’t see either of them as part of our future. They have contributed though, but they’ll hardly go down as legends…

    No point in either of them staying. They’ll get nice pay days in Qatar, China or a similar league.

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  25. Georgio

    I’m not going to try and second guess him on players like Shelvey and Saivet. But I’m just reading between the lines of what I know of him and our squad.

    I think some recruitment will depend on who is actually available. His contact network must know of some younger players with something to prove who are up for a battling season in the Championship and then to be in the PL after a full season in England. Also, some younger prospects in the lower leagues should be good targets too. I’d like to see Rafa work really hard to ensure we get players like Alli to come to us if they leave clubs like MK Dons.

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