In Focus: Newcastle United should offer out-of-contract star a short-term deal

According to reports in The Chronicle, Newcastle United midfielder Vurnon Anita is unsure whether he will be a Magpies player next season, but he would like to be.

What’s the word, then?

Well, the Dutchman made 31 appearances in all competitions – and 27 in the league – as Rafa Benitez’s side made an immediate return to the Premier League as Championship champions on Sunday, but he is out of contract this summer.

The 28-year-old is yet to hear whether he will be offered a new deal by the Spanish manager as he prepares for life in the top flight once again, but he is hopeful that he can extend his stay at St James’ Park.

What’s he said?

When he was asked if he wanted to stay, he told The Chronicle: “Of course, but it’s not up to me.

“I have to wait and see, it is up to the club. We have to see what the club decides.

“If the group stays together it’s a beautiful thing, but in football you never know what happens.

“Hopefully we can stay together and then work for next season.”

How well did he do this season?

As we mentioned before he was something of a regular throughout the season although he sometimes rotated with DeAndre Yedlin for the right-back slot.

While he had some poor days – think the 3-1 defeat at home to Fulham – he was reliable on many others.

Does he deserve a new contract?

He probably does, yes.

While it may not be a long-term contract or one that guarantees him first team football, Anita has certainly shown that he is a useful member of the squad.

As well as his vast experience compared to some of his teammates, he is also a versatile player and that attribute is a positive for any squad.

The Dutchman is able to play at full-back and in midfield, and Benitez may decide that is invaluable as the club aim to avoid a relegation battle in the Premier League next season.

What’s the verdict, then?

Well, Benitez should definitely keep hold of Anita if he is keen to stay, but the best solution for both parties is perhaps just to give him a one-year deal to see if he can break into the starting XI next term.