Hard work has been responsible just as much as talent within the current Newcastle squad in getting us to safety. The defeat at Everton last night was disappointing of course but in context, it has been a successful season overall.
There are a few talented players who have not been in Rafa’s plans recently or this season as a whole. With this in mind, here’s three we could see leave to raise funds for a possible summer spending spree..
Aleksandar Mitrovic – £20m?
This one continues to divide fans but I think it will be almost impossible for Mitrovic to work his way into the first team while Rafa is in charge. He has been in fine form for Fulham of course but it is important to recognise it is the Championship – a division Dwight Gayle excelled in. If Rafa’s mind is made up, his current scoring exploits and a good World Cup will only help NUFC maximise the fee they can demand from potential suitors.
Mikel Merino – £15m?
The talented Spaniard has fell out of favour and something doesn’t seem quite right after a fine start to the season. Whether it is loss of form, transfer speculation or injuries – he no longer is first choice and it may be that Benitez feels it is better to cash in. He has clear ability and, being young, you’d think we could sell him for around double the £8m paid for him just last year. His situation is quite unclear, but Athletic Bilbao’s interest seems serious. I wouldn’t be all that surprised if he left.
Chancel Mbemba – £10m?
He’s not kicked a ball in the Premier League since the turn of the year and hasn’t been included in any of Rafa’s last 14 match day squads. He’s not going to settle for being 4th choice any longer. He is another who has ability and should command a decent fee if we try and move him on. I wouldn’t be surprised if Rafa played him in the final few games to put him in the shop window.
Who do you think may be sold this summer to boost our transfer fund?