As things stand, there are ELEVEN senior players at Newcastle United due to be out of contract next summer.
Those 11 are:
- Fabian Schar
- Federico Fernandez
- Ciaran Clark
- DeAndre Yedlin
- Achraf Lazaar
- Christian Atsu
- Jacob Murphy
- Rolando Aarons
- Henri Saivet
- Dwight Gayle
- Andy Carroll
With all the above in mind, we have some big decisions to make and several players to carefully manage over the comings month.
Using three categories – keep, sell (in January) or release – here’s what I’d like to see the club do with all 11:
Both may be 31, but I feel like Federico Fernandez and Ciaran Clark rarely let us down and still have plenty to offer in a black and white shirt.
The Argentine is probably our best or, at least, most reliable centre-back, while the Irishman rarely puts a foot wrong when he plays. Clark may need to prove his fitness in the next few months, however I can see both being given one-year extensions – especially when we’re short on centre halves, have Lejeune down the pecking order and Schar out of favour.
The final player in the ‘keep’ section is Jacob Murphy – and not just because he played his best game for the club last weekend. He’s come back from a brilliant spell with Sheffield Wednesday looking hungry, more confident and a much better player for it.
Not only that, he could soon be seen as a versatile option for Steve Bruce, with the winger’s outstanding display at wing-back last weekend giving us all food for thought.
The first is Fabian Schar. He may be one of our most talented centre-backs, but he doesn’t appear to be trusted in a four-man defence, is down the pecking order under Bruce and has often looked lackadaisical as a result on the rare occasions he gets a start. Time to sell in January while we can get some cash? There’d be plenty takers now he’s overcome that shoulder injury.
DeAndre Yedlin is next up. He’s now our third choice option at right-back and received summer interest from Besiktas and a host of MLS clubs according to The Athletic.
Like Schar, this may depend on us signing a replacement in January due to our lack of depth in his position, however I’d be tempted to cash in on Dwight Gayle in January. He’s a good squad player, but he’s never far away from injury and is yet to show he’d be a capable Callum Wilson replacement at this level. A team vying for promotion may give us decent money in the new year?
Christian Atsu is next – a player who missed out on Steve Bruce’s 25-man squad earlier this month. After receiving reported summer interest from Nottingham Forest and Watford, he could well drop down to the second tier in January.
Last but not least, Rolando Aarons. He generally falls into the Lazaar and Saivet category in being stuck on Tyneside with no takers, but Huddersfield would’ve signed him a few weeks back if it wasn’t for them running out of time, so I expect that deal to be revisited in the new year.
Andy Carroll was given another year to prove his worth, but he just doesn’t look up to it at this level anymore. He was a handful at West Ham on the opening day, but he doesn’t look fit enough to keep up with play, seems like he’s running with led in his boots and is still yet to score. His current deal means he’s one of the club’s lowest earners unless he starts, but I just don’t feel he can be relied on – whether that be due to his injury record or lack of goal threat.
Then to Henri Saivet and Achraf Lazaar – the duo we just can’t shift, probably due to the fact no one is willing to match the £30,000 plus they receive per-week to do little other than train on Tyneside.
The lack of interest this summer suggests no one wants them, so we should either pay them off early or wave them off when their contracts expire next summer.
What would you do with the above 11? Let us know in the comments!