Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Rafa Must Be Ruthless and Clear out Deadwood; EXITS COULD BE AS INTRIGUING AS NEW SIGNINGS

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Rafa Must Be Ruthless and Clear out Deadwood; EXITS COULD BE AS INTRIGUING AS NEW SIGNINGS

Article excerpt

Byline: JOHNGIBSON

CHRISTIAN Atsu officially became Rafa's first summer signing this week as the building of a Premier League squad of substance led to frenzied speculation.

Newcastle have been linked to well over 60 potential recruits and May hasn't quite given way to blazing June as yet!

How we all love speculation. It makes the world go round at a merry rate.

However, it isn't all about who comes in, though that's the most important part.

It's about who goes out too in the drive to raise funds which Mike Ashley has pledged will go to Rafa's buying fund.

Well, let's deal with those who won't raise a penny because they are on frees but whose wages will be saved, of course.

Will we see Vurnon Anita, Yoan Gouffran, Sammy Ameobi, Haris Vuckic or Lubo Satka again? Certainly there is more chance of spotting Lord Lucan on Shergar trotting across the Town Moor than the last three.

Then we come to those entering their final season on contract, always a time to sell if not sign up again.

I can't honestly see Benitez holding on to Massadio Haidara, Tim Krul and Curtis Good, who have probably outstayed their welcome, or for that matter Jesus Gamez, Kevin Mbabu, and Daryl Murphy.

Krul, of course, would deserve special praise and a whopping thank you should he depart.

He has done us proud, but all good club servants depart in the end - think Shay Given and Steve Harper.

Now we come to the tricky bit. Those on longer contracts who could dig in their heels from a position of strength should they wish to hold out for deals that at least match their current one or preferably better it.

I'm thinking of Manu Riviere and Siem de Jong, who have made no impact whatsoever here, and are contracted until 2020, while a decision has to be made on Chancel Mbemba.

Mind you the real problems are Grant Hanley, Achraf Lazaar and Henri Saivet, who unbelievably have deals right up to 2021, as has the seemingly forever injured Rolando Aarons and Matz Sels, who might well decide that his international future with Belgium demands he sacrifices longevity for a passage out. …

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