Alan Pardew will have some work to do this summer, as he will need to decide which youngsters to give extended contracts to.
20 year-old Matthew Grieve – out with a broken cheek-bone at the moment
It turns out that 19 year-old midfielder Michael Richardson, 19 year-old England youth international Ryan Donaldson, who is currently on loan at Hartlepool and has appeared in 5 games, and 20 year-old Ashington-born defender Matthew Grieve, are all out of contract in the summer.
Grieve received a very severe facial injury when he smashed his cheekbone last month, while out on loan at Stockport County, where he played only 3 games.
But the 6’3″ local defender is hoping to return before the end of the season, to stake his claim to get another contract at Newcastle.
Newcastle’s Reserve team game last week with Manchester United was postponed, because of a water-logged pitch at Whitley Park, and the next game is when Newcastle face Arsenal on March 9th, which is next Wednesday at St James’ Park.
Pardew talked today about his focus on the youngsters on Tyneside:
“I do not have a problem with focusing on some of the younger players.” “I have a lot more time to do that now.”
“We had the Man United game canceled because of the surface last week, but there are games coming up.”
Phil Airey and Tamas Kadar could well both be sent out on loan again next season, and while Kadar is at Huddersfield right now, he is sidelined with a groin injury, and has only played once for the club now managed by former Newcastle player and coach Lee Clark.
Alan is also aware of just how well James Tavernier is performing at Gateshead, where he’s already appeared 13 times so far:
“I know James is doing terrific with Gateshead.” “He has a real chance of threatening the squad next year.”
The games that James Tavernier is getting at Gateshead right now will do him the world of good, and James, along with Shane Ferguson, Nile Ranger, Tamas Kadar and Haris Vuckic are probably the young players who are closest to the first team at the moment.
However, we do expect that Haris Vuckic will be sent out on loan too and definitely early next season, and maybe for the rest of this season, because the Slovenian U21 International needs some games to further his development.
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