Newcastle United have done a solid job of keeping some key players on Tyneside for the next few seasons. So far, four players have signed new deals.
Newcastle United have started to circle some names of players they wish to pursue in the summer in order to make the team more competitive next season. While summer transfers are a main priority for Newcastle United, the club has also been busy handling internal business over the last few weeks and months.
Steve Bruce has a list of players he hopes will sit down with the club to negotiate contract extensions. Thus far, four players have put pen to paper on new deals and they are Martin Dubravka, Jonjo Shelvey, Matt Ritchie and Federico Fernandez. Bruce is hoping to lock down Javier Manquillo as well, and his ultimate wish is for Matty Longstaff to stay beyond this season.
- Contract Extension: Six years
- Grade: A+
Newcastle United are lucky to have Martin Dubravka as their guardian between the sticks. The reason why elite teams like Juventus and PSG scouted the Slovakian keeper is because he is one of the best shot stoppers in the Premier League. Dubravka has made 79 top flight appearances for the Magpies and has claimed an impressive 24 clean sheets in the process.
Dubravka leads the Premier League in saves this season after making 117 saves through 29 games, and he also boasts the third-highest tally when it comes to clean sheets (nine) this term. The fact that such a talented keeper has agreed to stay on Tyneside for six more years is massive for Newcastle United. While fans should be excited to see Dubravka wear the Newcastle United crest for the next six years, a new report claims that Dubravka will be out of action for the next six games, so his Premier League ranking in some categories might fall over the next month.
- Contract Extension: Three years
- Grade: A-
Jonjo Shelvey is one of those midfielders who is capable of being the best player on the pitch, but struggles with inconsistency. For example, Shelvey played an integral role in Newcastle United’s success in the second half of the 2017-18 campaign, but he experienced a dip in form last season and was battling a lingering hip injury as well.
This season, though, fans have witnessed the resurgence of the mercurial midfielder. Shelvey has been in fine form having scored a team high of five goals. In addition, it is worth mentioning that Newcastle United have claimed seven of their nine victories with Shelvey on the pitch. Overall, the Magpies are better with Shelvey in the squad because of his stellar vision, passing and playmaking abilities in the middle of the park.
- Contract Extension: Three years
- Grade: B
Matt Ritchie is the very definition of a blue collar footballer. The Scottish winger sets an example for the rest of the team on what playing with maximum effort looks like. From an athletic standpoint, Ritchie is not one of the top players in the squad, however, in terms of football acumen he is the first name on the list.
Ritchie is not expected to be a regular starter in this team, but when he plays fans know they can expect to see quality crosses delivered into the box, dangerous shots from distance and an unmatched defensive work rate on the wings. Ritchie is an experienced player and his veteran leadership will only benefit some of the youngsters Newcastle United have in midfield.
- Contract Extension: One Year
- Grade: A
Federico Fernandez is the most recent player to extend his stay on Tyneside, and he has been the most impressive defender for the Magpies this season. Newcastle United had the option of extending the Argentine defender’s contract by one year before the end of the season and they made the right call. The former Napoli and Swansea City man has solidified his place in the starting lineup as a result of his stellar and consistent form on the back-line.
His composure on the ball when under pressure, confrontational style of defense, timely tackles and quality crosses have all earned Fernandez a new contract. Brought in by Rafa Benitez in August of 2018 to spark internal competition, Fernandez worked hard to break into the starting eleven, and he has played a major role in helping a newly-promoted side establish themselves into a stable Premier League club.