90 Minute Cynic’s resident Newcastle fan and expert Michael Chapman looks over the squad and questions who should stay and who should go?
The sadness that closed in on Newcastle supporters like a heavy black cloud in April, after our relegation into the Championship, was pierced by a brilliant ray of light when it was announced that Rafa Benitez had agreed to a three year contract. It was as if you could hear the collective sigh of relief across the globe.
The hard work began immediately as the club announced there would be no off-season training tour to a far off land. Instead Rafa would use this time to assess all aspects of the club, from academy level to senior team acquisitions.
Amongst the many rumours are reports that he will look to rebuild the squad, and that we can expect many older players with any re-sale value could be gone. Below I give my own opinions on who should be sold off and who should be kept, by any means necessary.
However unrealistic it may be, I list Gini Wijnaldum and Chancel Mbemba as the two main ‘keeps’ who obviously could be on the move. If we are forced into selling one, or worse both, it feels like it is essentially a total rebuild job for Benitez and staff. Yes Gini ran out of gas at the end of the season, but it was his first in England and he will only get better.
I also make one assessment that will be controversial, that of selling Aleksandar Mitrovic. He can score goals for sure, but he also is short tempered, the proverbial bull in a china shop if you will. If we sell him now we may be able to almost break even and use that money to find someone who’s temperament would be better suited to play under Rafa.
Tim Krul GK 28 Sell
– Tim has one year left on his current contract. Rumours persist of Everton being in for the Dutch keeper, and now is the time to capitalise before it is too late.
Karl Darlow GK 25 Keep
– More than proved he is ready to be the starter for the Championship season.
Robbie Elliot GK 30 Sell
– Time to move on for the Irishman.
Freddie Woodman GK 19 Re-sign
-We have to see if he is worth the price we paid.
Chancel Mbemba DF 21 Keep
– At 21 there will be plenty of suitors but he is a solid, versatile defender and a must keep.
Jamaal Lascelles DF 22 Keep
-A future leader of the back line, he will only get better.
Fabriccio Coloccini DF 34 Sell
-At 34 and with so much past drama, there is no point in keeping him around.
Steven Taylor DF 30 Free
-As much as I love Tayls’ we can’t afford to carry him into the future.
Curtis Good DF 23 Keep
-Unlike Steven Taylor we can afford to keep the Aussie, if for no other reason then to properly determine his value.
Paul Dummett DF 24 Keep
-Another versatile and valuable defender, maybe not a starter but a perfect fifth defender for us.
Massadio Haidara DF 23 Sell
-Time to move on as he seems injury prone and may have some re-sale value.
Daryl Janmaat DF 26 Sell
-Although I am not nearly one of his detractors, I am sure we can get a decent resale value. At his age he wouldn’t be pleased to “waste” his prime days playing in a lower league.
Kevin Mbabu DF 21 Keep
-I do think he has a chance at being a quality defender and could possibly replace Janmaat.
Jack Colback MF 26 Keep
-Every team needs someone who can run for days and give maximum effort.
Cheik Tiote MF 29 Sell
-If the rumours of Chinese clubs willing to overpay were true, we’d be silly not to sell this club cult hero.
Vurnon Anita MF 27 Keep
-Prior to injury he really was playing very well.
Moussa Sissoko MF 26 Sell
-It is time to move on as he is too inconsistent and moody. Was probably on the phone to his agent as soon as the final whistle blew. His performance in the Euros has potentially bumped his price up a bit, cha-ching!
Jonjo Shelvey MF 24 Keep
-Personally I think he is overrated, and another who’s mood changes with the weather. That said when he feels up for it he is a quality midfielder and could very well do a solid job in the Championship.
Gael Bigirimana MF 22 Keep
-Why not see what he can do?
Georginio Wijnaldum MF 25 Keep
-If we can keep him, we must, at any cost. He will tear up the Championship and be such a valuable leader when we get promoted.
Siem de Jong MF 27 Sell
-It breaks my heart as I am a huge fan, but he is constantly injured and has not demonstrated the aptitude to adjust to the the style played in England.
Henri Saivet MF 25 Keep
-Too much talent to sell off without seeing what he can do in England.
Haris Vuckic MF 23 Sell
-Has been on the rolls for too long, cut bait.
Rolando Aarons MF 20 Re-sign
-I am not certain he has an actual position, but he has pace and you can teach that! How you doin?!
Andros Townsend MF 24 Keep
-I strongly believe he does not have enough quality to be a top Premier League player, but can do more than a job in the Championship.
Remy Cabella MF 26 Keep
-Perfect chance for him to have a fresh start with Rafa staying. He has some great talent that many times gets suffocated by his own pissy attitude. Can the new manager handle this precious delicate tea cup? I, for one, would like to see if he can.
Yoan Gouffran MF 30 Sell
-Contract expires in 2017, time to go Yoan.
Aleksandar Mitrovic FW 21 Sell
-He clearly has a knack for dramatic goals, but he also has a knack for stupid, rash red cards. Get him sold to the highest bidder and replace him with someone more steady.
Seydou Doumbia FW 28 (loan)
-Will return to Roma.
Ayoze Perez FW 22 Keep
-Solid as a rock, the conduit between Rafa and the rest of the squad.
Papiss Cisse FW 31 Sell
-His contract expires in 2017, but he will always be remembered for that class goal against Chelsea.
Sammy Ameobi FW 24 Sell
-No, just no…
Emmanuel Riviere FW 26 Keep
-Prior to his debilitating injury he showed flashes. Build his confidence in the Championship and who knows what he can become.
Florian Thauvin FW 23 Sell
– It was a ridiculous buy in the first place, he isn’t a hard enough worker to thrive in England
Adam Armstrong FW 19 Keep
-Now is the time, tipped to be a future no.9 he tore it up while out on loan in League One at Coventry City. Scored 20 goals and assisted on 5 others in 40 matches.
Ivan Toney FW 20 Keep
-Would definitely like to see what he can do as well, between matches in the U21 Premier League and with Barnsley FC in League One the youngster scored 26 goals and assisted on 17 more.
What are your thoughts on Michael’s squad trimming? Do you agree or disagree? Comment below or tweet us @90MinuteCynic
Follow Michael on Twitter @NUFC_monkey