NUFC player ratings: Marks out of 10 for all 25 players to feature in 2020/21

Almost six weeks have passed since the end of the season. Things have settled down and the focus has switched to the summer transfer window.

However, we feel it is worth looking back at the season that has just passed and rate the performances of each individual player:

Martin Dubravka (1170 minutes) – His injury did ruin his season. Although he did get back into the team eventually, it did take him a while to displace Karl Darlow. He ended the season very well, but he will be frustrated that he picked up the serious injury when he did. Dubravka was solid, but it wasn’t his best season on Tyneside – 5.5

Karl Darlow (2250 minutes) – Few were pleased that Darlow would need to play the lionshare of minutes this season, following the injury to Dubravka. However, he surpassed expectations and had some great performances at the start of the season. His levels did drop at the beginning of 2021, but he did prove his ability at this level for the first time. The minutes played and expectations of two players are why he rates slightly higher than Dubravka. He’s also the only goalkeeper to save a penalty from Bruno Fernandes since his move to Manchester United – 6

Emil Krafth (1291 minutes) – There are still doubts about his Premier League capabilities. Strangely, he may be best suited as a right-sided centre back, with his best performances coming in the final stretch – 4.5

Javier Manquillo (826 minutes) – It has been a season to forget for Manquillo, as he has barely featured. He has been impacted by injuries and Covid, but he has dropped down the pecking order – 3

Jacob Murphy (1621 minutes) – Murphy has emerged as an excellent player for us and he has salvaged his Premier League career. He has scored key goals against Wolves and Burnley, while he excelled in the wing back role. Two goals and three assists from his minutes played is a good return. His average of 2.7 tackles per 90 minutes shows his improvement in defence – 7.5

Federico Fernandez (2083 minutes) – At the age of 32, the Argentine continues to impress at the heart of our defence. His positioning is the best in our squad, but his lack of pace does get exposed at times. When he returned to the team, his performances were praised, despite goals continuing to be shipped. He’s a good squad player to have around – 6

Jamaal Lascelles (1628 minutes) – The captain has had a disappointing campaign, marred by injuries and a serious covid illness. His points per match was low at 0.79, which may surprise some. However, he did score two key goals against Aston Villa and Wolves. Also, he finished with the highest aerial dual success rate with 72.6% won – 4.5

Fabian Schar (1246 minutes) – The Swiss centre back is still highly rated among supporters, but he is another that he suffered with a serious injury. There were some promising performances around the turn of the year, such as the one away to Everton. If we continue with three centre backs, he should have a bigger part to play next season 4.5

Ciaran Clark (1893 minutes) He was important in the first half of the season and he was the standout centre back when we were using a back four. However, he was uncomfortable as the middle centre back of a back three. From our centre backs, he is the one that is probably most expendable this summer – 5

Paul Dummett (1256 minutes) – Although injuries have impacted on him again, he has emerged as an important player as the left-sided centre-back. Due to his limitations on the ball, this should be the role we use him in from now on. It was good to see him get back on the score sheet this season and he played a key role in our resurgence following Brighton. Our points per game with him in the team was 1.53, the third best in the squad – 6.5

Jamal Lewis (1833 minutes) – Unfortunately, it has to be considered a disappointing season for Lewis, due to the fee he cost in a £15m move from Norwich. However, he did make 50 tackles, which was the most of any Newcastle player tied with Isaac Hayden. There is talent there, but this season won’t be looked back on with fondness – 3.5

Matt Ritchie (1352 minutes) – Considering the club tried to sell him in the summer and January, Ritchie has had a huge impact on our season. We averaged 1.5 points per game with him in the team and he contributed two assists. His aggression and leadership were key in the upturn post Brighton. Ritchie is now best used as a left wing-back, even if his positioning is questionable at times – 7.5

Jonjo Shelvey (2617 minutes) – The midfielder is much maligned, but he did play more minutes than any other player in the squad. He contributed one goal and three assists, which is a big decrease from last season’s six goals and two assists. In terms of forward passing, he is far clear in nearly every stat. He made 38 key passes and 110 progressive passes, both team highs. Sometimes, he lacks energy out of possession, but he did make 48 tackles, the joint third most of any player – 6

Isaac Hayden (1946 minutes) – It was disappointing to see his season end early against Brighton. However, the form since may have changed how some view Hayden. There has been an upturn without him in the team, That said, he is a consistent performer and no other midfielder is better at winning back possession. He ends the season with a joint-team high in tackles (50) and a team high interceptions (46) – 6

Sean Longstaff (1406 minutes) – Although it took a while for Longstaff to win favour with Bruce, he did get back to better form towards the back end of the season. He finished with the highest points per game in the squad with 1.55. The change to the 3-5-2 formation suited him, as his energy allowed him to cover from box to box – 5

Jeff Hendrick (1423 minutes) – Hendrick was overused in the first half of the season, playing ahead of the Longstaffs and this means he is viewed badly by supporters. He can carry out a tactical role in certain matches, due to his work rate, but he is technically limited. Two goals and an assist does show some attacking ability, with his debut goal a particular highlight – 4

Matty Longstaff (377 minutes) – It was a surprise that he barely featured after signing a new contract. He was only used around Christmas when he was brought in from the cold to play in a difficult run of matches. There is clearly talent there, but he didn’t contribute much to the season. This rating is more to do with his lack of minutes than a comment on him – 3

Miguel Almiron (2438 minutes) – I was expecting Almiron to have a breakthrough season and emerge as the star of the team. Following Graeme Jones’ appointment, we saw what he is capable of, with his best performance in a Newcastle shirt coming against Southampton, as he scored twice. His energy was key in the latter part of the season, even if he didn’t contribute heavily in attack – 6.5

Joe Willock (980 minutes) It is difficult not to rate Joe Willock highly, as he had a transformative impact on our season. Some were underwhelmed by his loan signing, but he provided attacking intent and energy in central areas. He scored eight goals, many of which were key in winning points and ended the season scoring in seven successive matches. It would have been a higher mark, but he was only here for half of the season – 8.5

Ryan Fraser (927 minutes) – Injuries have hampered his season, as he featured in less than 1000 minutes. We have seen a glimpse of his quality, as he has averaged 3.69 shot creating actions per ninety minutes. This is a team high. His lack of minutes means he has to be rated low – 4

Allan Saint-Maximin (1568 minutes) – He continues to be our best player, as it is obvious the impact he has when he is in the team. Following the international break, he had a massive impact in the wins against Burnley and West Ham, which were the two wins that relieved pressure. The Frenchman provides entertainment and the team usually performs better when he is playing, as shown by his points per game of 1.36 – 7.5

Callum Wilson (2086 minutes) – The former Bournemouth man scored 12 goals and he had a transformative impact on the team. He provided a focal point and had underlying numbers to back up his goal return, with an xG of 11.3, For me, he has to be considered our Player of the Year and he rightly won the club award. Without his injuries, we would have finished with even more points – 9

Joelinton (1990 minutes) – It has been a season of two halves for the Brazilian. There has certainly been an improvement in the second half of the season, as he started to use his physicality to get the better of opposition centre backs, while he scored three goals in his last eight matches. In 2020, I’d rate him 3 and in 2021, I’d raise that to a 7, so a rating in the middle is fair. There has been an improvement – 5.5

Andy Carroll (384 minutes) It was nice to see him score at St James’ Park again, but he barely featured. The decision to start the season with him in the team was a mistake. He needs to be moved on now – 3

Dwight Gayle (506 minutes) – Gayle scored the winner against West Brom after our Covid outbreak, but his lack of effort in later appearances was a disappointment. He is another we probably need to move on – 3.5

Let us know what you make of our marks out of 10 and feel free to comment with your own set of season ratings!

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82 thoughts on “NUFC player ratings: Marks out of 10 for all 25 players to feature in 2020/21

  1. I reckon 3 nil to England. We have much the better team and emotion only gets you so far.

    I dont think Denmark will score and it will be just to p!ss me off. Then all of the pundits will be going on about how great the Mackem Toddler is now and that he has matured etc. He has still gone into his tantrums even in this tournament but he has seen so little of the ball that he hasnt had a lot to set him off.

    I am sure we will hear before the game what the record is for clean sheets. Off the top of my head I dont know but there has been talk of it so he must be close.


  2. My pick was England before this all began. A lot of journos and pundits said it was too soon and this was preparation for the WC. We had almost every game at home FFS. Remember I said “if not now, when”? Even Southgate dampened down expectations, but that’s part of his job. It is not the job of pundits and journos but you can bet they are all on board the hype machine now.

    I have no respect for their predictions after they get on the band wagon. They need to say it before, or at the very least, early in the tournament.


  3. I did get NUFCs finishing position right last year. After we got Wilson and Fraser my gut said 12-14 but I used the totally scientific method of alphabetical order. This year that predicts 14th. Without a takeover I think that is probably generous. Lets see what happens in the next month or so.


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