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Opinion: Five players Eddie Howe should allow to leave NUFC in January



Newcastle United Football Club - NUFC
Credit: @nufc instagram - a large reshuffle is expected in January at NUFC...

The January transfer window is set to be a busy one for Eddie Howe, who desperately needs to improve the quality in his side as Newcastle battle for Premier League survival.

The recent Saudi-led takeover of Newcastle United means the club are expected to spend big in the upcoming transfer window and increases the chances of a complete squad overhaul come January.

The Magpies are expected to have around £190million at their disposal to help bolster their chances of remaining a Premier League side by the end of the campaign.

While much of the talk has been around the potential reinforcements that could join the club, it’s vital that Howe gets rid of some “deadwood” in the squad if Newcastle are to move forward in the new era for the club.

Why is a reshuffle needed?

The Magpies are on the limit of their 25-man Premier League squad with the early season injury crises forcing former boss Steve Bruce to register four goalkeepers. Newcastle will have to part company with a number of squad members to make way for higher-quality players.

New manager Howe has distanced himself from transfer speculation and rightly so given the current predicament the club finds itself in. He has insisted that the players who are currently available for selection will have a ‘huge part to play’ in the battle for survival.

However, the ambitions at the club have changed vastly since the takeover and the new owners are looking to improve the squad wherever they can, not just to avoid relegation but to take the club forward in years to come.

With the club sitting second bottom of the table and winning just one game so far this season, it remains clear that the need for mid-season reinforcements is huge, in what may prove to be one of the most important transfer windows of Newcastle’s history.

Fringe players may leave the club permanently, while youth prospects are expected to be sent out on loan to make room for improvements.

One thing that remains clear is the club is drowning in second-rate, substandard and unworthy players who need to be moved on if Newcastle are to gain some much-needed momentum heading into the New Year and the rest of the campaign.

Perhaps these players have done a job in the past and served their purpose in the Championship but now is the  time they went the journey.

Here’s a look at five players who fit that mould and should leave as part of the expected January’s reshuffle:

Ciaran Clark

The 32-year-old centre-back was brought to St James’ Park back in 2016 during the Championship campaign and played a key role in the club’s promotion back to the Premier League under Rafa Benitez.

The Republic of Ireland international was a major part of the squad in the first half of the 2017-18 season as Newcastle returned to the Premier League. However, his place in the team was mostly due to injuries as Jamaal Lascelles and Florian Lejeune were preferred in the second half of the campaign.

Clark only managed eight Premier League appearances in the 2018-19 season, despite finding the net on three occasions which proved important for the clubs survival by the end of the season. He featured regularly under Steve Bruce.

However, Clark’s clear lack of quality has been there for all to see this campaign and was summed up perfectly by his mindless red card in the crucial, must-win relegation battle with Norwich last week.

The experienced defender should have known better than to bring Canaries striker Teemu Puki down as he closed in on goal and arguably cost his side three vital points at SJP.

United’s woeful defensive record this season highlights the desperate need for new recruits in the transfer window, with Burnley captain James Tarkowski among the names most recently linked.

The club have the worst defensive record in the league so far this term and need some high quality recruits at the back.

Clark, who recently agreed a new two-year deal, would be one of the first names to go and the need for reinforcements at centre-back would push the 32-year-old even further down the pecking order.

Jeff Hendrick

Hendrick has made 24 appearances for the Magpies since his arrival on a free transfer from Burnley in 2020 and is a perfect example of Newcastle’s extremely poor recruitment under Mike Ashley.

The Republic of Ireland international cost the club nothing in transfer fees and severely lacks Premier League quality as Newcastle hunt for survival.

There must have been a reason why Sean Dyche let the midfielder leave and his lack of bite in the crucial defensive midfield area is probably the answer.

Hendrick scored in his solitary league appearence to date in the defeat at Wolves in October, but fell out of favour under Bruce. His yet to feature under new boss Eddie Howe who wants to play a more attacking, exciting and front-foot brand of football.

Jonjo Shelvey and Joe Willock have established themselves in central midfield meaning the free transfer from Burnley is a likely candidate to leave the club.

He would certainly free up space for a higher quality player to join in the upcoming transfer window and the majority of fans would support his departure.

Mark Gillespie 

The 29-year-old goalkeeper was brought to the club in the 2020 summer transfer window from Scottish side Motherwell and is yet to make a Premier League appearance. His only start came in the EFL Cup victory over Newport County with the Mags winning 5-4 on penalties.

Steve Bruce brought the Englishman to the club after an injury crises resulted in the former boss registering four goalkeepers.

However, now the club has two decent ‘keepers in Dubravka and Darlow who are battling it out for the no.1 place, it’s unlikely that Newcastle-born Gillespie will feature under Howe. He’s another metaphor for the club’s mediocrity and although he was brought-in as back-up, should be nowhere near the first-team.

Freddie Woodman is the other registered shot-stopper and may be sent out on loan, but if the club were to want back-up due to injury concerns then Woodman would be the preferred choice.

The youngster has been at the club for many years and was a key part of the academy before his successful loan-move to Swansea where he was one of the best Championship ‘keepers last term.

Dwight Gayle

Rafa Benitez brought the English striker to Tyneside back in 2016 and the 32-year-old played a crucial part in the subsequent promotion back to the Premier League.

Gayle became the first player to score 20 or more goals for Newcastle since Alan Shearer – albeit in the Championship.

He was the leagues top scorer with 17 heading into the New Year but a longstanding hamstring injury in the second half of the season saw him leave the field on three separate occasions before half time.

That hamstring problem still haunts him today as Gayle has been unable to put a string of games together and is yet to start under Howe. He is injury prone and was definitely at home in the Championship – that’s where he belongs.

Typically, Gayle was one of three players to be handed contract extensions this summer which seems baffling given the fact the former number nine remains a peripheral figure and has been linked with a loan exit on a number of occasions.

The striker has featured for just 21 minutes in black-and-white this season and is unlikely to find himself in contention given the decent form of front-three; Joelinton, Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson.

Nottingham Forest and a return to West Brom have been rumoured as possible destinations for Gayle in January. The club should be looking to let the 32-year-old leave on a permanent deal given the potential to bring in much better options in the upcoming window.

Sean Longstaff

Since the Geordie-born midfielder was brought into the first-team scene under Rafa Benitez he has failed to make an impact in the centre of the park.

Despite scoring a beauty in the away trip at Watford a few months back, the 24-year-old has been at fault for a number of goals this season and gives the ball away too often in important areas. He is lacklustre and regularly second to the loose balls which is the complete opposite of what you want from a player in his position.

The North-Shields born midfielder has featured on 65 occasions for the Magpies in his career but is a likely candidate to leave in January. He is yet to make the starting eleven under Howe and faces tough competition from Isaac Hayden who plays a similar role.

Longstaff is unlikely to fit in the new managers plans given the brand of football he is hoping to instil at the club and therefore might be shown the exit door in the upcoming window.

The midfielder’s contract is set to expire in the summer and with younger brother Matty perhaps a more promising option it seems crazy to think the 24-year-old once linked with Manchester United could leave for nothing in the coming weeks.

He may be “one-of-our own” but fans need to look past his sentimental Geordie upbringing and look forward to a brighter future with a group of much more talented players.

Thoughts? Who would you like to see leave Newcastle in January? Will Howe be able to strengthen the squad enough in the upcoming window? Who do you want to see wearing the black and white in the New Year?

Join in the conversation and have your say…


Newcastle United to Reveal New Shirt Sponsor?



Newcastle United Kit Idea - NUFC kits

footballinsider247 are reporting that the main shirt sponsor slot for Newcastle United is expected to be filled by airline SAUDI, who sponsored Newcastle’s mid-season tour of their owners’ homeland in December.

They state ‘This site revealed in February that there is frustration at St James’ Park that they have inherited a kit deal with Castore worth just £5m per year with no break clause and several seasons left to run.’

Newcastle’s recently appointed CEO Darren Eales has already previously expressed that the club at looking at all commercial opportunities and fans on Twitter were keen to mock up their expectation for the new shirts, see below and let us know your thoughts and also see our below video on how NUFC can increase commercial avenues..

Eddie Howe’s team are currently in a strong position to achieve a European slot which would increase revenue into the club allowing more spend whilst staying within Financial Fair Play which is something Howe has spoken about on several occasions as they look to stay within. If the club do reach a European slot it should help significantly with recruitment in the summer by making it a more attractive proposition to any incoming targets.

What do you think of the kits – let us know on our facebook page and join in on the conversation.

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Newcastle United Kit Idea - NUFC kits
Newcastle United Kit Idea - NUFC kits
Newcastle United Kit Idea - NUFC kits
NUFC Concept Kits Designs
NUFC Concept Kits Designs
Credit: NUFC kit concept – twitter


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Amazon filming Newcastle United for “All or Nothing” style documentary



Amazon Prime are currently filming behind-the-scenes footage at Newcastle United for a new documentary.

The docu-series will provide an insight into the club and its efforts to secure a top-four finish and a piece of silverware in the 2022-23 season.

Reports today revealed that camera crews have been filming a four-part documentary for their All or Nothing series. Sky Sports’ Keith Downie confirmed that the series will cover the club and the new owners as they attempt to qualify for the Champions League and win a trophy.

The All or Nothing series has previously documented other Premier League Clubs including Manchester City, Arsenal, and Spurs as well as the Brazilian national team, Juventus, and the All Blacks of rugby.

Newcastle face Manchester United in the Carabao Cup final on February 26 at Wembley.

The Magpies have featured three times in Europe’s most prestigious competition.

Most recently in the 2003-04 season as they reached the third qualifying round, eventually losing on penalties to Serbian side FK Partizan.

The season before the Toon finished third in the 2002-03 Champions League group stages, winning twice against Bayer Leverkusen and drawing with Inter Milan 2-2 at the San Siro. The lineup that night; Given, Solano, O’Brien, Dyer, Shearer (C), Bellamy, Speed,  Griffin, Hughes, Dabizas and Viana.

The series is expected to air later this year and will be available on Amazon Prime.

Based on previous seasons, you can expect exclusive access to training sessions, team meetings and match days, giving fans an in-depth look at what goes on behind the scenes on a day-to-day basis at Newcastle United.

It is set to be an incredible storyline and one that should provide fans with some real insight into what it takes to compete at the top level of professional football.

What do you think Newcastle fans?

Does this excite you or do you stand more with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp who once said the cameras could be intrusive to the dressing room when he turned down the offer from Amazon In 2018?


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Newcastle target rejects Everton move following £45m bid.



Newcastle united - St James Park

Everton have made a £40million bid with £5m in add-ons to sign Connor Gallagher from Chelsea.

This comes after Newcastle completed the signing of Anthony Gordon, the club’s second most expensive transfer behind Alexander Isak.

Everton received an initial fee of £40m plus add-ons that could increase the deal to £45m.

The Toffees currently sit 19th in the Premier League and are looking to reinvest the money from the Gordon deal to sign much-needed players under newly appointed manager Sean Dyche. 

But, multiple sources have reported today that Gallagher is not actively pushing for a move and has no intention of going to Goodison Park. However, with Chelsea having met the record-breaking €120m release clause for World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez, Gallagher may be forced to leave the club if the transfer is complete.

This leaves Newcastle an option as the player would prefer a move to a top-six club.

This morning, Eddie Howe said, “We’ll see what we can do to try & bring a player in. There’s no guarantees. In terms of permanent signings, it will be very difficult. We’ll look at a potential loan. But it’s got to be the right player & not one for the sake of it”.

Due to financial fair play, the only way Newcastle could sign the player is through a loan, with an obligation to buy the player for at least £45m, the same price they paid for Anthony Gordon.

Gallagher has been playing regular Premier League football over the last two seasons. Since returning to his parent club Chelsea, the 22-year-old has been linked with a move away to numerous Premier League clubs.

Last season he was named Crystal Palace’s Player of the Season by their fans. He also won the Player of the Month award twice, Goal of the Month once, and was awarded the Young Player of Year at the 2022 London Football Awards.

In the same season, he made 36 appearances scoring eight goals and registering three assists that earned Palace a 12th-place finish, one point behind Newcastle.

Have Your Say!

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Does he start?

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