Newcastle United have announced their squad ahead of our trip to China for the 2019 Premier League Asia Trophy – and it’s raised a fair few concerns.
Firstly, Joselu is in the squad – despite it being widely reported that a move to La Liga side Alaves was ‘imminent’. Perhaps a move has been put on hold due to the total lack of strikers currently at the club?
Then to the club’s ‘forgotten men’. They were excluded by Rafa for a reason, they weren’t good enough, yet Jack Colback, Achraf Lazaar and Rolando Aarons have all been included in the squad, suggesting they really are getting a clean slate at the club this summer.
Finally, the lack of quality and options in the forward areas is incredibly worrying. Almiron misses out after being given an extended break following his busy summer in the Copa America, but we have just three strikers (Gayle, Joselu and Muto) and just three senior wingers in Aarons, Murphy and Ritchie – and the latter seems to be more of a wing-back these days.
On a positive note, it’s great to see youngsters Matty Longstaff, Thomas Allan, Kelland Watts, Owen Bailey and Nathan Harker given a chance to impress and get involved with the senior side, although it is a shame that the likes of Victor Fernandez and Elias Sorensen aren’t included – especially when we seem to be severely low on numbers in attacking areas.
It’s also good to see Sean Longstaff involved in the group, with it being reported this morning that Man Utd have been put off our alleged £50m asking price.
Here’s the squad heading to China:
Goalkeepers: Dubravka, Darlow, Woodman, Harker.
Centre-backs: Lascelles, Schar, Fernandez, Clark, Watts (U-23), Bailey (U-23).
Full-backs: Dummett, Manquillo, Lazaar, Sterry,
Central midfielders: Shelvey, S.Longstaff, Ki, Hayden, Colback, M. Longstaff (U-23).
Wingers: Ritchie, Murphy, Aarons, Allan (U-23).
Strikers: Gayle, Joselu, Muto,
The team will face Wolves next Wednesday (17th July) and either Manchester City or West Ham a week on Saturday (20th July).