The under-the-radar motivation driving Newcastle’s fine form – and that will shape club’s future – Chronicle Live

Posted: December 23, 2019 at 10:42 am

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Newcastle Uniteds fantastic form is being driven by a fierce team spirit, some smart game management and a slice of earned good fortune.

But theres another factor motivating this group which hints at the bigger issues to come for the Magpies: and thats that a good chunk of these players are playing for their futures, either at St James Park or elsewhere.

Of the eleven starters on Saturday, three are entering the final six months of their contracts. A further three are going into the last 18 months of deals which are under discussion with the clubs hierarchy.

The players with a summer 2020 contract expiration are Javier Manquillo, Andy Carroll and Federico Fernandez all of whose futures are in the balance.

Newcastle United have 20 players out of contract by the end of 2021 - and one loan player to make a decision on.

That includes six of the players who started the last match against Bournemouth, along with Matty Longstaff - who played for England's under-20s last night - and the injured Matt Ritchie, a strong contender to start when he recovers from an ankle problem.

Ki 5.4m, Carroll 5.4m, Fernandez 6.3m, Manquillo 4.5m, Elliot 900k, Darlow 3.1m, Longstaff 5m, Colback 2.7m

Also out of contract: Jetro Willems (loan)

Total values: 33.3m

Saivet 900k, Murphy 4m, Lazaar 900k, Aarons 450k, Atsu 5.4m, Yedlin 7.2m, Hayden 9m, Gayle 13.5m, Ritchie 10.8, Shelvey 13.5m, Schar 11m, Clark 5.4m

Total values: 82.05m

Total value across two transfer window: 115.35m

* All values from Transfermarkt

And of the 2021 crop, Isaac Hayden, Jonjo Shelvey and Fabian Schar all started the match against Southampton. Ciaran Clark, Matt Ritchie, Dwight Gayle, DeAndre Yedlin and Christian Atsu are also heading into the final 18 months of their contracts, making that summer potentially the biggest overhaul of personnel in recent times.

So for all that were heading into recruitment season, it is contract issues that are set to dominate the Newcastle agenda in the next couple of years.

As much as that creates uncertainty, it also gives Newcastle potential to remould the squad in the image that Steve Bruce wants. And just as important is the powerful motivation that gives several players to prove that a new deal is justified.

Manquillo has certainly never played as well as he has in his recent streak of fine form, which culminating in shutting out Wilfried Zaha on Saturday a display which prompted Bruce to hail him as Newcastles best player on the day.

Fernandez has also surprised those at Newcastle who felt that he would be the natural candidate to exit after the departure of Rafa Benitez, a manager who was so personally responsible for his signing. At 30 years of age he is approaching probably the final big contract of his career and hed ideally like that to be at Newcastle.

Both are making compelling cases for extensions, as is Carroll whose influence off-the-field is as crucial as his performances on it.

Of all the big contract decisions facing them, United have only addressed Martin Dubravkas so far but its understood other contract discussions are moving in the right direction. Recent form might encourage Newcastle to act even quicker.

This black and white band of brothers are giving Uniteds hierarchy some welcome headaches.

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The under-the-radar motivation driving Newcastle's fine form - and that will shape club's future - Chronicle Live

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December 23rd, 2019 at 10:42 am

Posted in Motivation