Newcastle United got a critical win right before the international break, and that has lifted them above the relegation zone for the time being. The club was in a big mess this summer with Rafael Benitez leaving and talks of a new takeover. However, there were no positive updates for the club, and the Tyneside outfit are likely to fight a relegation battle this season.
Douglas on Dubravka, Hayden, Shelvey and Ritchie’s contracts
The Magpies meanwhile are working on getting some of their crucial players on a new deal. The Chronicle’s prominent journalist Mark Douglas recently did a Q and A and gave an update on the contract situation of four crucial players. Douglas said (The Chronicle), ”I’d expect Martin Dubravka and Isaac Hayden to be the first to come to agreements. Both are moving in the right direction, although there’s still work to be done.”
”With Matt Ritchie and Jonjo Shelvey, though, there’s the added complication of their age. Steve Bruce has been pushing their cases, but we’ll see. I suspect much will depend on how this season progresses: if it’s a relegation fight, those deals might not happen any time soon.”
Is Bruce taking the right call?
Dubravka drew interest from French heavyweights PSG this summer, and the Magpies must keep hold of him as he has established himself as the no. 1 in goal. The good news is that he is likely to agree on a new deal along with Isaac Hayden, who is currently suspended. Nevertheless, the midfielder has played a vital role so far this season.
Jonjo Shelvey has struggled with injuries, and he was consistently linked with a move to West Ham this summer. However, he has stayed put at the club. Bruce is said to be pushing to get him on a new contract, but we don’t see Shelvey having a future at the club.
The English midfielder was recently ignored in the match against Manchester United as he was on the bench and Bruce went in with debutant Matthew Longstaff. We are expecting the Longstaff brothers to play a significant role in the middle in the future and Shelvey will be better off moving away from the club by next summer.
30-year-old Matt Ritchie has his contract at the club until 2021. The versatile winger is currently out with an injury. As for Ritchie’s deal, we think that Bruce should wait until the end of this season to see how he goes about his business. His versatility and work-rate mean that he will be a good squad player for the next few years and he can be offered a new contract if he does well this season.
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