Newcastle United Premier League squad: The big decisions for Steve Bruce ahead of his 25-man cut

Business done and dusted, now comes Steve Bruce’s toughest call – his Newcastle United 25-man Premier League squad.

Friday, 9th August 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 9th August 2019, 7:00 am

Even with the confirmed exit of Jacob Murphy to Sheffield Wednesday on a season-long loan, the Magpies have 31 players who must fit into their 25-man squad, which must be named by 5pm tonight.

Here are FIVE big calls head coach Bruce must make.

Right-backs – three into two doesn’t go

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JULY 30: Rolando Aarons of Newcastle United on the pitch ahead of the Pre-Season Friendly match between Hibernian FC and Newcastle United FC at Easter Road on July 30, 2019 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

The signing of Emil Krafth means that United have four right-backs on their books at present.

While Jamie Sterry is almost certain to be sent out on loan to League One or League Two, Javier Manquillo and DeAndre Yedlin have an uncertain future. One is likely to go.

It could come down to who is the easiest to sell or loan. In that sense a move back to the continent for Manquillo could end up being the easiest deal to strike.

Jack Colback – stick or twist

The midfielder is a player who is likely to be in Bruce’s plans – he’s a player he knows well, having handed him his professional debut while at Sunderland.

But will the head coach stick or twist with the player?

The odds seem to be in the former Nottingham Forest loanee’s favour.

Second chance for Aarons?

Bruce signed him last season at Sheffield Wednesday, but there are question marks over whether the player is A) good enough, and B) can stay fit enough, for a Premier League season.

Also at question is whether Aarons fits into this new 3-5-2 formation.

Scott to follow in the footsteps of Sean Longstaff

Kyle Scott arrived at United wanting to follow in the footsteps of Sean Longstaff and into the United team.

It remains to be seen whether he will get the chance to do so for the first half of the season, as he is eight days out from making the under-21 B list.

Last chance saloon Lazaar

Achraf Lazaar has been in the last chance saloon at United for some time.

It’s unlikely that he will be given another shot with a move to the continent almost nailed on.

Likely players in 25: Martin Dubravka, Karl Darlow, Rob Elliot, Emil Krafth, Matt Ritchie, Jetro Willems, Jamaal Lascelles, Paul Dummett, Fabian Schar, Federico Fernandez, Ciaran Clark, Florian Lejeune, Christian Atsu, Sean Longstaff, Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden, Ki Sung-yeung, Yoshinori Muto, Andy Carroll, Joelinton, Allan Saint-Maximin, Dwight Gayle, Miguel Almiron (23).

Players likely at risk: DeAndre Yedlin, Javier Manquillo, Jamie Sterry, Rolando Aarons, Jack Colback, Henri Saivet, Kyle Scott, Achraf Lazaar (8).