Thu 29 Feb 2024, 13:59 · Ash Harrison

Six first-team players that Newcastle United must cut loose this summer in order to move forward

Six first-team players that Newcastle United must cut loose this summer in order to move forward
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We were expecting big changes at Newcastle United last summer ahead of this season but they didn't materialise, but we feel that this summer has to be different.

Newcastle recruited well in the summer for the most part, however, it wasn't exactly the squad overhaul we were expecting. In fact, players that we expected to be on their bike have since been handed contract extensions.

Jamaal Lascelles was very close to the top of our list to go - we're obviously very glad he didn't after Sven Botman's injury, but the club captain is way off the level we should be aiming for under the new owners.

Newcastle still have players on the books from our time in the Championship, players who looked below-par even then. It's time for sentimentality to leave and it's time to get ruthless. FFP is strangling us when it comes to incoming transfers so clearing out some deadwood will make room in the budget for some additions.

Matt Ritchie
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We'd love Ritchie to stay at Newcastle on the staff payroll

There are plenty of reserve players who we need to cut loose - Jeff Hendrick and Jamal Lewis spring to mind instantly, but that's not what we're talking about today. Here are our six first-team players we feel should be sold or released this summer.

Paul Dummett (32)

It has already been reported this week that Paul Dummett will leave the club in the summer. He is one that should have gone last year but was handed a new deal by Eddie Howe. Yes, he's a Newcastle man through and through, and no doubt he's great to have around in the dressing room, but what has he actually done on the pitch lately? With just 184 minutes over three appearances this season, the answer is not a lot. He's taking up a squad space and is a drain to the budget. There are plenty of Championship clubs who'd take him in a heartbeat and he'll be good for them, no doubt.

Matt Ritchie (34)

We love Matt Ritchie but we also believe he shouldn't be anywhere near the first-team squad. He may not be ready to, but we'd love it if he hung up his boots and took up a coaching role at Newcastle. He is a force for good at the club, but despite his heroic cameo against Bournemouth a couple of weeks ago, rescuing a point, he doesn't really bring much to the table in terms of on-field play. He's a voice, for sure, but his legs went ages ago and now there's a collective eye-roll when fans see his number come up on the electronic board so signal his entrance onto the pitch.

Jamaal Lascelles (30)

This one feels a bit cruel given how well he did deputising for Sven Botman this season, but on Tuesday night he gave us a stark reminder of why he's been a perennial benchwarmer for so long. Lascelles has been a fantastic servant to the club and we'll never forget that rant that made Rafa Benitez give him the captain's armband, but despite a couple of spells when fans were calling him for him to be given a shot in an England shirt, he's never really progressed to a high level. He'll be a club legend for his years of service and for being a captain, but he'll not really be remembered for being a top-class footballer. He could, and perhaps should have gone to Turkey in January, and as much as Eddie Howe publicly states he wants him to stay, we can see Lascelles moving in the summer.

Matt targett
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We had to dig into the archives just to find a photo of Matt Targett in action for Newcastle

Matt Targett (28)

Targett was so good for us on loan from Aston Villa that Bruno Guimaraes interrupted an on-field live interview with Targett to proudly state that Newcastle should sign him permanently. That's exactly what we did, handing over a further £13million to make his move permanent and we've barely seen him since. He's made just seven appearances this season and racked up less than 200 minutes. He is constantly injured and Eddie Howe now plays a central defender in his position. He was brilliant for that loan spell but now he's another one just taking up space and draining money out of the club. It's sad, but he's got to go.

Miguel Almiron (30)

There were rumours abound that Newcastle were trying to find a new club for Miggy in January and a move to Saudi Arabia looked nailed on only for the Paraguayan to dig his heels in and say he wanted to stay. Miggy is one of the most hit-or-miss players we've had in years. When he's on he's phenomenal, but those games are as rare as hen's teeth. He had an unbelievable run of games in October last year when he couldn't seem to stop scoring, but we've not seen anything resembling that form since. It definitely feels like our one-time record signing's days are numbered and we expect to see him moved on in the summer.

Callum Wilson (32)

This one might be controversial given how his strike rate puts him high up on the list of the best strikers to wear the black and white, but we can't overlook that injury record anymore. Wilson is not getting any younger and that certainly isn't going to help him when it comes to his fitness. He's still probably worth a few quid though and the likes of Chelsea were even eyeing him in January. This summer could be our chance to move him on and get some money back from the deal. The obvious counterpoint to this one is that it would leave us with just one striker who also hasn't exactly been reliable when it comes to fitness. If we were to sell Wilson, we'd have to use that money to bring in two strikers and that won't be cheap.

Getting these players off the wage bill and hopefully bringing in some money by selling them, should, combined with the Champions League, TV and Adidas money coming into the club, provide Newcastle with a decent amount of headroom in terms of FFP to go and bring in several players that we desperately need.