Newcastle: Who's Staying and Going This Summer?
For all of Newcastle United’s proud boasts of their seemingly strong financial accounts, all is not quite what meets the eye at St James’ Park. They may well be posting figures well in the black for a third successive year, but these figures hide the fact that after a couple of years of neglect, the first team squad is now in dire need of extensive surgery this summer.
Thanks to Ashley’s penny pinching, and the gross incompetence of Joe Kinnear, Newcastle United have now failed to sign a single player on a permanent basis in either of the last two windows. The club have now backed themselves into a corner, with many of the current squad now reaching the end of their road with Newcastle.
However, such is the fragility of an already thin squad; any further departures will need replacing. It now seems that in order for the club to merely stand still in the Premier League next season, they will need to part with the money that they have been so careful not to spend in the past.
The Newcastle Evening Chronicle recently suggested that there could be ten players heading for the exit this summer, I however, could see as many as twelve leaving the club. The question now is, who are these dozen with unclear futures? And more importantly, should they stay or should they go??
1. Papiss Cisse
Initially Papiss Cisse looked to be one of the great signings following a blistering first six months on Tyneside. Since this most incredible of starts however, the goals have dried up, the confidence has evaporated, and Cisse has spent much of this season warming the bench. With the club spending most of January trying unsuccessfully to offload him, the writing now looks on the wall for Papiss.
Verdict: A shell of his former self. The Cisse of 2012 is long gone and shows no sign of ever returning - Time to go.
2. Loic Remy
The form of the on-loan striker has been a blessing and a curse for Newcastle this season. He has been our best player so far, but his performances now mean that the club have a huge fight on their hands to keep him. His form will have no doubt encouraged a host of potential suitors, if any offer more money, or present more ambition than Newcastle, then he will not be at St James’ next season.
Verdict: It is crucial that he stays - unfortunately I have no faith in the club to secure his signing permanently.
3. Mathieu Debuchy
It took a little while, but this season we’ve now finally started seeing the real Debuchy. He’s already been linked with the likes of Bayern and PSG, and worryingly he’s already started to flirt with a few of these big clubs in the media. If he carries on playing the way he’s playing, it surely won’t be long before Mike cashes in and he’s following his mate Cabaye back to the continent.
Verdict: He’s contracted until 2018 so any potential move will cost big money – for that reason I think he’ll stay……in the short-term.
4. Davide Santon
Unlike Debuchy, Santon’s form has gone the other way. His performances have gone steadily downhill this season, and is now under fierce competition for the left-back spot. His confidence looks shot and now has a real battle on his hands just to prove his worth.
Verdict: Still has two years left on his deal and people forget that he’s only 23. I don’t think NUFC are ready to give up on him just yet – Stay.
5. Dan Gosling
Newcastle looked to have pulled off a real coup when they snatched the highly-rated Gosling from Everton in 2010. Since then, due to a combination of injuries, poor form and lack of first team involvement, Gosling has failed to develop into the player many thought he would become.
Verdict: He’s 24 now and I get the impression that the club have given up on him – I expect him to go.
6. Luuk De Jong
De Jong arrived on loan in January with fifteen games to prove he is worthy of a permanent transfer. It’s still relatively early, but so far De Jong has failed to pull up any trees and the jury is still very much out. Ten games left and counting.
Verdict: The long list of forwards potentially leaving might just help De Jong get a deal, but for the moment, we’ll just have to wait and see on this one.
7. Shola Ameobi
After fourteen long years could we be finally be about to see the end of Shola’s time at Newcastle?!? His contracts up in June and there seems to be no sign of a new one being offered. As with De Jong, the potential dearth of forwards facing the club this summer might just come to his rescue, but I can’t really see it.
Verdict: After all these years of consistent inconsistency, finally Shola looks to be out the door……I think.
8. Steven Taylor
Taylor's agent recently claimed that if he was no longer a regular, then he would have to look elsewhere for first team football. Big deal. You see, for all Steven Taylor’s fist pumping, Geordie lad, man-of-people actions, his performances are not simply good enough. It’s now abundantly clear that he is never going to develop into the Carragher/Terry defender and leader that we all hoped he would become.
Verdict: I can’t see anyone realistically wanting him enough to spend the money Newcastle would ask, for that reason I think he’ll stay – for now.
9. Sylain Marveaux
The inconsistent Marveaux had probably his best season in a black and white shirt last year, but this season he has failed to kick on. He doesn’t seem to have any real hunger or desire about him, and this season Pardew looks to have completely lost patience with the winger.
Verdict: He’ll be off just as soon as the club can find someone to take him off their hands.
10. Gabriel Obertan
The infuriating Frenchman has all the attributes to be a top player; athletic, strong and lightning fast - yet sadly he possesses absolutely no footballing abilities whatsoever. Alan Pardew was seemingly the only person on the whole of planet Earth who rated Obertan, but now it seems even he has now lost the faith.
Verdict: For the love of God just go and go now!!
11. Jonas Gutierrez
He has been a fine servant to Newcastle, but it seems Jonas’ time is now up. With club apparently unwilling to trigger a clause in his contract that will potentially cost them more money if he plays a certain number of games, Jonas has been shipped off to Norwich on loan. It now seems certain that he will now leave the club permanently in the summer.
Verdict: I fully expect Jonas to have played his last game for Newcastle.
12. Hatem Ben Arfa
Tragically, one of the most naturally gifted players to ever pull on a Newcastle shirt now looks headed for the exit. Hatem has now spent four years on Tyneside, without ever really fulfilling his undoubted talent. With only one year left on his contract, his flashes of genius are now becoming greatly outweighed by his half-arsed performances and his lack of effort. Sadly it has now reached a point where both manger and fans alike are ready to say ‘Au Revour’ to the mercurial Frenchman.
Verdict: With a heavy heart, I think it’s now time for Ben Arfa to go.
Follow Jonny on Twitter, @jonnyanderson11