Keep or bin - an unrelentingly ruthless assessment of Newcastle United's squad after FA Cup scare

An open, honest and, at times, scathing assessment of who Newcastle United should keep and sell this summer
Eddie Howe needs to be brutal this summer - or risk a further decline at Newcastle UnitedEddie Howe needs to be brutal this summer - or risk a further decline at Newcastle United
Eddie Howe needs to be brutal this summer - or risk a further decline at Newcastle United

Let’s have it right: Newcastle United got away with one on Tuesday night. PTSD from the Carabao Cup clash with Chelsea in December had many Toon fans resigned to their fate once penalties were confirmed. Martin Dubavka ultimately proved the hero, bailing Newcastle out of trouble - and saving Eddie Howe from a humiliating FA Cup exit.

For 120 minutes, Blackburn Rovers exposed many of the weaknesses that have been evident in recent weeks. From defensive fragilities to a lack of quality, Newcastle were poor.

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How many of the current crop should stay the course? If Newcastle were truly honest, would Manchester City, Liverpool or other Premier League heavyweights be queuing up for more than a handful of their players?

It is time to get the drawing board out and assess Newcastle’s squad ahead of the summer transfer window. Should they keep? Or should they sell? If the Magpies want to become Champions League regular, they must get serious.

Nick Pope - Keep

Newcastle have missed their No.1 more than expected since his injury against Manchester United. He could be improved upon distribution-wise but, for now, Poe still gets the nod.

Martin Dubravka - Bin

The hero against Blackburn. However, if a decent offer came in, Newcastle should sell up as Karius seems an adequate backup.

Loris Karius - Keep

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As mentioned, the German has never let Newcastle down despite being thrown into the deep end for both of his appearances. Karius is not going to be desperate to play, so keep him on board.

Mark Gillespie - Bin

He has essentially won a competition to eat, sleep and breathe alongside the Newcastle first team for four years. I bet he cannot believe his luck. Seems a nice lad, but it is time to go.

Sven Botman - Keep

The Magpies’ best defender. Has struggled lately but a class act when in full song. Keep and find a long-term centre-back partner.

Fabian Schar - Keep

Another no-brainer. Schar is 32 but still has a lot to offer United.

Jamaal Lascelles - Bin

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His contract is up and the end of the season, with a move to Turkey mooted. Lascelles has been an invaluable servant but Newcastle must take the next leap.

Paul Dummett - Bin

Like Lascelles, he has been a solid player for the Magpies over the years but must be moved on when his contract expires this summer. Dummett would likely need to drop down a division.

Lewis Hall - Keep

One of the great mysteries of this season has been Howe’s decision to shun Hall. An obligation-to-buy clause is likely to be met.

Matt Targett - Bin

A Premier League-proven player who would likely be wanted by other clubs. Cash in while he is still worth a few quid.

Dan Burn - Keep

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Burn should stay - but only as a backup. He could do a job as deputy left-back or centre-back.

Tino Livramento - Keep

The future of the flanks on Tyneside. One of the best young talents in the country.

Kieran Trippier - Keep

Howe’s leader and Newcastle’s most experienced operator. Trippier is kicking on but the Magpies have a wonderkid in waiting should Father Time catch up.

Emil Krafth - Bin

It was worrying that Newcastle triggered his one-year extension earlier this month. Maybe Toon chiefs are planning to recoup a transfer fee in the coming months?

Bruno Guimaraes - Keep

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Keep, keep and keep again. The club’s star asset. He is so crucial to Newcastle’s success.

Sandro Tonali - Keep

To coin an Alan Pardew phrase, he will be “like a new signing” next season. Fans only saw a glimpse of Tonali’s talents before his ban.

Joelinton - Keep

Newcastle have looked lightweight in midfield without the Brazilian. Give him whatever he wants to sign that new contract.

Joe Willock - Keep

A player so important to Newcastle’s cause last year but, like others, has struggled with injuries of late. Still only 24, Willock can develop into a force.

Sean Longstaff - Bin

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Not good enough. A grafter, but has little goal threat, passing ability and pace. Offloading him would be good for the FFP/PSR balance sheet too.

Lewis Miley - Keep

Looks every bit as good - if not better - than Longstaff at 17. His next challenge is to add more defensive discipline.

Matt Ritchie - Bin

Ritchie staying 10 more years? Not likely, No doubt he is important in the dressing room but Newcastle need players on the pitch.

Elliot Anderson - Keep

An interesting one. This was meant to be a breakout campaign for him until injuries struck. As an academy product, he would be good as far as FFP/PSR is concerned but it will be better to have a proper look at him in the top flight first.

Anthony Gordon - Keep

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A coming-of-age campaign for the former Everton man. Surely he is due an England call-up?

Harvey Barnes - Keep

Newcastle have only seen glimpses of Barnes’ capabilities so far. Keep, but purely because he has barely played.

Miguel Almiron - Bin

After five years, 201 appearances, 30 goals and 12 assists, now could be Almiron's time to go. Newcastle can fetch a decent right winger while fetching a fee for the Paraguayan.

Jacob Murphy - Keep

In truth, Murphy should be replaced - but it was him or Almiron. The latter fetches more money for FFP/PSR purposes and Murphy's versatility was also a factor. A handy squad player at best.

Alexander Isak - Keep

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He is going nowhere - and Newcastle need to build a team around him. When fit, Isak is arguably the Premier League’s best striker after Erling Haaland.

Callum Wilson - Bin

Nobody can question his ability or importance to Newcastle since arriving. However, his injury concerns have become a liability. Howe must let his trusted lieutenant go.

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