Newcastle boss Eddie Howe is set to have a number of huge calls to make when it comes to the end of the 2021/22 campaign.
He was forced to cut three players from his squad after making a host of January additions and may need to cut the chord with others in the summer in order to make way for more signings ahead of next season.
Ciaran Clark, Jamal Lewis and Isaac Hayden were all omitted from the 25-man list for the second half of the season, with Matt Targett, Chris Wood, Kieran Trippier, Bruno Guimaraes and Dan Burn all added after joining last month.
One player who must be ruthlessly axed in the summer in the same way as the aforementioned trio is right-back Javier Manquillo.
The former Liverpool defender has been poor in recent seasons and should be moved on in the next transfer window to make way for fresh additions. His performances on the pitch have been far from good enough and his market value has reflected that.
Transfermarkt valued him at £4.5m in December 2019, a value he had held since joining the club in 2018. Fast forward two years to December 2021 and Transfemarkt valued him at just £2.7m – his current valuation. This means that his market value has plummeted 40% in that time, highlighting how he has failed to develop as a player at St. James’ Park.
Speaking after a 3-2 defeat to Tottenham in which Manquillo lined up at right-back for the Magpies, Jamie Carragher blasted the Spaniard and his teammates, saying:
“This back four is a Championship back four. These players were all playing in the Championship in 2017 for Newcastle.
“They are not good enough for this level. Matt Ritchie is playing left-back when he was bought as a right winger in the Championship.
“They are not organised, they are all over the place. They’ve got really poor defenders and that’s a huge problem. They are going to need to buy three or four defenders in January to stay up.”
These are strong comments from the ex-Liverpool enforcer but Manquillo’s statistics in the Premier League suggest that they are fair. He has averaged a WhoScored rating of 6.60 or lower in every single one of his league campaigns for Newcastle, averaging a dreadful score of 6.37 last term.
This shows that the dud is incapable of delivering consistently solid performances on a regular basis and has, instead, struggled over the years. Therefore, Howe must move him on in the summer and look to bring in an alternative option to challenge at full-back, whether that is a right-back or a left-back who can play on either side.