Hello all! Since my last post, Florian Lejeune has signed for us from SD Eibar for a fee of around £8.7million. The Frenchman is looking like he has knocked Chancel Mbemba right down the pecking order giving Rafa's lack of trust for him last year. Something I certainly didn't want to happen, as Mbemba is better than any defender we currently have in my opinion. This will be my last update on this series as I want to begin to write match reviews (for games that I see) as the friendly season swiftly approaches, so please enjoy my last 'players to stay or go' post!
Isaac Hayden - Stay
Although I want Hayden to stay (for now), my opinion on the midfielder is not what most Newcastle fans share. In fact, I really don't see what's so amazing about him. I've been dazzled only once by him with his goal against Cardiff, other times he's mostly blended right in. His first touches are usually poor and he sometimes looks like he has two left feet. I've seen the ball being taken off him FAR too much. However, he does have his odd moment and he is just about superior to ex-mackem Jack Colback. But Is he good enough for the premier league? I'm not sure. But, we cannot just simply write him off without seeing him play in the EPL, especially once you consider that he is young and has a little bit of experience with Arsenal. I think we should judge him in January, if he hasn't been playing too well. Then he should be up for a loan deal there and then. But for now, he stays in the team for me.
Ciaran Clark - Go
Ciaran Clark was part of the 2015/16 Aston Villa side that finished rock bottom of the premier league with a whopping 17 points, the 3rd worst in premier league history. That isn't a good thing to have on your premier league CV. However, he was good (apart from THAT own goal) in the championship. But the difference in quality from the premiership to the championship is stupendous. It's as if it was a three league gap instead of one. Furthermore, our center back partnership next season will probably be Lejeune and Lascelles, if one of those two gets injured it will could be Chancel Mbemba dropping in. And Clark certainly wont be satisfied in 4th down the pecking order. I'd hope that he will be off sometime before the proper season starts. That painful last minute own goal
Yoan Gouffran - Go
Gouffran's start to the 2016/17 campaign was great, as he scored 3 goals In September. Two of which were absolute stunners against Derby and Wolves respectively. Unfortunately, the Frenchman would only go on to score four more all season. Really drying up in the second half of the campaign. He also frequently lost his place in the starting 11 to the likes of Christian Atsu. And in the last ten games of the campaign. Gouffran only started four times. I feel we could do a lot better instead of Gouffran on the wing. With quality, pacey players like Atsu and youngster Rolando Aarons ready to snatch his spot at any point, we should be looking into a future without the 31 year old.
Jonjo Shelvey - Stay
Unlike most players in our current team, Jonjo Shelvey is a proven premier league quality player; Spending most of his 9 year professional career in the top tier of English football. He was the main conductor of the 'long ball' technique we seemed to have last season and he bagged 8 assists and scored 5 goals in 38 championship starts; including a beautiful long range curler against QPR in September. And although he tailed off a bit in terms of pass accuracy and being muscled off the ball frequently at the end of the season, you have to give him credit for propping us up like a stool when we needed him most for a lot of the season. He is perfect for long shots and volleys, and can easily take a free kick or two. His Liverpool and Swansea experience means he knows the premier league from top to bottom, and I look forward to seeing how he plays next year. Jonjo Stays for me.
Paul Dummett - Go
I really feel we could do a lot better than Paul Dummett...
In some games he played alright, but there were a lot of games from last season in which he was tragic. A fine example of this is when we lost 3-1 to Ipswich back in April. And while you can argue that the whole team was at fault, Dummett really stuck out for his contributions to the loss for the third goal, in which Paul braced the ball coming towards him by heading it directly upwards, then when it came back down, heading it straight to an Ipswich player, THEN he tried to get the ball off that player by attempting to slide tackle him on the wing, but instead he missed the ball entirely, giving Ipswich an easy opportunity to cross it in and score. Which they did.
Now I'm not wanting him out for one mistake in one match, it's various matches that he's either been poor or done nothing in. In fact, in most matches I never really notice him. He was promising in 2014, but I really can't see him progressing to become anything now. It seems the championship or small premiership clubs like Burnley and Watford is his destiny. I don't care if he's a "local lad", he isn't really that good.
Jack Colback - Go
It goes without saying that not a lot of Newcastle fans are very fond of Colback. He seems like he only moves sideways, and cannot control himself in terms of fouls. Picking up 10 yellow cards throughout the season. He also only got one assist and scored 0 goals in 24 championship starts and five substitute appearances. He hacks people when defending and is seemingly unable to attack. Many Newcastle fans haven't even forgave him for shushing the Gallowgate end when he scored against us in a 3-0 defeat to Sunderland back in 2014. Colback didn't really help at all in the title winning season last year and it wouldn't pain me to see him go. And as most of you will know we have recently been linked with Andreas Samaris from Benfica and we look like we are really close to bringing him to Tyneside. I believe that we should be signing him as a replacement for Colback. Even if he will cost £17.5-20 million. I don't think Colback is good enough for us anymore and he needs to be replaced. And NOT for Siem De Jong... Please not Siem De Jong.
Daryl Murphy - Stay
Daryl Murphy is a finisher. Someone who can put the ball in the back of the net, he doesn't run fast or do fancy skills, but he can score goals. Obviously he shouldn't be a first team player in the premier league, but lets say we were losing or drawing in the dying minutes and we needed a striker to put one in. I would definitely trust Murphy to do exactly that. Murphy has played in the premiership before while playing for Sunderland, but he was very poor. He only scored 4 goals in 72 premiership games! However, the last time he played in the premiership was 7 years ago, that's more than enough time to improve. And I believe he has, giving that he scored 5 goals in 7 league starts last season. Most of his shots (mainly headers) were on target too. However there are some games where he hasn't been as reliable. Which is why I'm thinking that he should be somewhat of a super-sub, getting the odd goal to save us sometimes. However, he has been told by Rafa Benitez that the club are looking to sell him, and Murphy has came out and said that he doesn't really mind that. So he'll most likely be at another club by the time we play our opening fixture against Spurs.
Ayoze Perez - Stay
Ayoze Perez has definitely gone a bit off the boil in terms of performance from what he was in the premiership. I still remember when he passed the ball across the box in a one-on-one situation against QPR in February, or when he completely missed the goal inside the box against Burton Albion. However, he has scored more goals this season (12) than any other seasons of his while playing in a black and white shirt, and he is another player who has played well in the premiership before. I remember his last minute half-volley against Spurs in 2015 to win us the match at White Hart Lane, or his clever backheel flick against West Bromwich Albion in a 2-0 win the season before. Perez is a player that I can trust to do well in the following season, perhaps as a number 10 instead of Mohamed Diame. Just as long as we don't force him onto the wings, I think he will be great next season.