Newcastle United begin their (for once) eagerly anticipated Premier League campaign against Nottingham Forest on Saturday 6th August 2022, but the official 25 man Newcastle United Premier League squad list, doesn’t need to be submitted until after the transfer window closes on 1st September 2022.
So who is currently in line to be included in the official squad and whose position is under threat?
Let’s break it down to see who could potentially miss out, and may benefit from moving on this month, for the sake of their own season / careers.
Newcastle currently have 30 players in their first team squad, although Elliot Anderson is under 21, so would be additional to the 25. This leaves 29 senior players with four under immediate threat, although this is likely to increase in the last few weeks of the transfer window.
Before I get into my reasoning, here is my predicted 25 man Newcastle United Premier League squad from our current options:
Midfielders (five plus Elliot Anderson)
Forwards / Wingers (seven)
That gives us a total of 24 Newcastle United senior players, enough to leave space for a single new signing without displacing any of the above.
That would leave five players who in my opinion won’t feature in our upcoming squad confirmation.
Current Missing Out Prediction:
GK – Gillespie
DF – Watts
DF – Fernandez
DF – Manquillo
MF – M. Longstaff
Here is my reasoning for the above.
Eddie Howe is unlikely to follow Steve Bruce’s lead in naming four senior keepers in the squad.
With Nick Pope a certainty to fill one of the three spots, the last two would be occupied by two of Martin Dubravka, Karl Darlow or Mark Gillespie.
Assuming Dubravka and Darlow stay at the club, it’s likely that Mark Gillespie will lose his spot in the squad. Although, no one could blame last season’s number one or our back-up, for moving onto pastures new in the hope of guaranteed game time.
My personal preference would be Dubravka stays and provides very healthy competition with Pope, with Darlow potentially dropping down to the Championship in search of regular game time.
We currently have 12 defenders on our books, which does feel inflated. As Howe has already stressed the need to have two quality players for each position, it’s likely that we won’t need all of three left backs, three right backs and six centre backs in the squad.
You would imagine that at LB Targett is guaranteed a spot. As Howe has talked up the potential impact and athleticism of Jamal Lewis, he too could be in line to feature. Paul Dummett I suspect will also retain a place, due to his experience, positive impact in the dressing room and his ability to fill in at both LB and CB.
At RB we have Trippier who is a dead cert, Krafth who has just signed a new deal after performing so admirably in the latter half of the 2021/22 season; and Javier Manquillo. I find it hard to imagine that Manquillo has a future at the club, and with at least four senior players missing out, I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest to see him omitted from a place in the squad, or moving on before the end of the transfer window.
At CB Howe has Botman, Burn, Schar and Lascelles who all seem set for a place in the squad. With Dummett as potential cover, it may be difficult to find a place in the squad for both Federico Fernandez and local lad Kell Watts. It seemed a move to a lower league was a possibility for 22 year old Watts before his unfortunate injury.
Newcastle currently have seven midfielders in the squad, although Anderson wouldn’t occupy a space if he stays this season.
Assuming we play with three midfielders like we did after Howe joined and as we have in pre-season, then I believe there are currently five standout players who fill these positions in the squad. They are, Bruno, Joelinton, Willock, Shelvey, and Sean Longstaff.
Unfortunately, for local lad Matty Longstaff it’s hard to imagine him getting enough game time this season to justify staying, when he could be better off dropping down a league or two in order to continue his development, for the sake of his own career.
This is probably backed up by his lack of minutes under Howe in preseason.
I also wouldn’t rule out us bringing in another midfielder to provide even further competition for places.
Forwards / Wingers
Eddie Howe confirmed last season that he doesn’t envisage playing two strikers, so we can expect a front three formation that served us so well in 2022, and again in pre-season.
There are only seven forwards / wingers in the squad currently, namely ASM, Fraser, Almiron, Murphy, Ritchie, Wilson, and Wood.
At present I believe all seven would feature in the squad list, although the inclusion of Ritchie and Murphy must surely be not guaranteed.
Ritchie has been hailed as a great person to have around the squad and Howe clearly rates his input. So all being well it’s likely he’ll remain. Though, question marks remain over his wish to move further South to be closer to his family, which no one could blame him for. He’s been a great servant to the club and if he was to move on I’d wish him well.
Murphy is one whose place must be under real jeopardy if Newcastle are to sign another attacking player, which it certainly seems we’re looking to do.
He has some fantastic attributes such as pace, work rate, passion and dedication. However, it’s his decision making in key moments which has frustrated fans time and time again. I feel this pre-season was make or break for both Almiron and Murphy, and it seems only one of those has grasped the opportunity with both hands.
I currently feel that the 24 man list submitted above would allow us to bring in another striker or wide forward, but if two were (hopefully) to arrive then I believe Ritchie or Murphy would likely make way.
What are your thoughts? Let me know if you agree, or what changes you would make.
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