Newcastle United Q&A: Will Bruno Guimaraes start against Everton? Could Ciaran Clark and Jamal Lewis still leave on loan? Steve Bruce at West Brom?
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Here, our Shields Gazette writers Miles Starforth and Dominic Scurr discuss the latest talking points…
Newcastle’s 25-man squad has been published, what are your thoughts?
MS: “I think if someone had said before the January window opened that Isaac Hayden and Jamal Lewis would be left out of the squad following the deadline, I’d certainly have been surprised. However, the club’s recruitment last month changed everything, and once the window closed, Hayden, Lewis and Ciaran Clark were the obvious candidates to miss out.”
DS: "Three players had to miss out. Eddie Howe said those set to miss out would be given the opportunity to leave on loan during the transfer window. Clark and Lewis both turned the opportunity to move to Championship sides on loan down and as a result their 2021-22 seasons could be over unless they choose to move abroad. Clark’s omission was no surprise given his poor form when in the side – his straight red card in the friendly match in Saudi Arabia last week probably didn’t help his cause either. Lewis impressed when he came into the side back in December but hasn’t featured since picking up a hamstring injury. The January additions of Kieran Trippier, Matt Targett and Dan Burn, all of whom are capable of playing left-back as well as other positions meant it just made practical sense for Lewis to miss out, as harsh as it was. Hayden’s knee injury meant he was out until late March at the earliest, there was simply no point keeping someone who, when fit, isn’t even a guaranteed starter in the squad if they could only be used for the final handful of matches.”
Will Jamal Lewis and Ciaran Clark head out on loan?
MS: “You’d think their best chances of loans were before the deadline (they were linked with Birmingham and Middlesbrough respectively). There are still a few windows open, and Turkey has been mooted as a possible destination for Lewis, but time is running out. You never want to see players left without any hope of playing. It’s not good for them – or the club.”
DS: “It was interesting to see Ciaran Clark in training but not Jamal Lewis this week. The left-back has been linked with a move to Turkey with Trabzonspor a potential destination. He’s only recently turned 24 so really needs regular game time – it would be no surprise to see him loaned out abroad. Unless Clark fancies a move to Turkey, Russia or Switzerland in the coming days, he may remain on Tyneside for the remainder of the season as a training player.”
Dan Burn, Matt Targett and Bruno Guimaraes could all make their debuts against Everton – would you start all three?
MS: “Howe must be tempted to start with Burn and Targett, as they’re fit and ready to start. Guimaraes, however, may take some time to settle into the club – and adjust to Premier League football. That said, I’d like to see him on the bench at the very least. I’m looking forward to seeing him bring his talents to the Premier League.”
DS: “I’d expect Targett to come straight into the side at left-back. He slots in naturally given that Matt Ritchie and Paul Dummett have both had recent injury issues. Many people would probably like to see Dan Burn start at centre-back as well. Personally, I’d start Burn alongside Fabian Schar but Eddie Howe could be tempted to stick with captain Jamaal Lascelles after he helped the side keep a clean sheet against Leeds last time out. Guimaraes has only just arrived in England and will only have a couple of days training before the crucial match at St James’s Park. Howe could play it safe by naming him on the bench, but surely he has to start given there are still doubts over Joelinton’s fitness?”
Which players could miss the Everton match?
MS: “Howe suggested the injuries suffered by Joelinton and Paul Dummett against Leeds United last month weren’t serious at a press conference late last month, so maybe they could be involved along with Jamaal Lascelles. He was injured in the same game, but played in last week’s friendly in Saudi Arabia.”
DS: “Callum Wilson (calf) and Federico Fernandez (thigh) are guaranteed absentees. Joelinton and Dummett remain slight doubts along with Matt Ritchie, but Lascelles should be fine."
How do you feel Manchester United have handled the Jesse Lingard situation now he has been given time off by the club?
MS: “It’s a bit odd, if I’m honest. Ralf Rangnick spoke of Lingard needing to “clear up his mind” after he stayed at the club amid interest from Newcastle. Lingard, however, questioned Rangnick’s account in a tweet posted last night.”
DS: "Poorly to say the least. We may never get to the bottom of it but to deny a player the opportunity to play football in a World Cup year is a very harsh way to treat someone who has been at the club since they were seven. What is even more bizarre is that Lingard will now leave Man United on a free in the summer instead of the club cashing in on a loan fee while they could in January. Newcastle were willing to pay, just not the ridiculous £12million survival bonus that was quoted. Ralf Rangnick’s comments and Lingard’s tweet disputing them has hardly helped the situation either.”
Are you surprised to see Steve Bruce appointed at West Brom?
MS: “Not really. Bruce spoke of the United job possibly being his last in football following his departure late last year, but you always felt that he would be back in management sooner rather than later.”
DS: “No. It’s now three West Midlands clubs plus both Tyne-Wear and Steel City derby clubs for Bruce. He certainly gets around.”