Newcastle have today announced nine players who will be leaving the club this summer, when their contracts run out at the end of June.
Shola Ameobi – in action in his final (396th) game for Newcastle
They include veteran Shola Ameobi who played in the first team for fourteen years and was given his debut by the great Sir Bobby Robson back in 2000,
The other players are Loic Remy, who will join a bigger club, Luuk de Jong who did not earn a permanent deal at Newcastle, midfielders Dan Gosling (Bournemouth) and Conor Newton (Rotherham), and youngsters Michael Richardson, Steven Logan, Brandon Miele and Jonathan Mitchell.
This is what the Newcastle manager Alan Pardew had to say:
“I would like to thank each of these players for the effort, attitude and application they have put in while at the Club.” “However, I have to make a special mention of Shola Ameobi, who has been an incredible servant to Newcastle United.¨
“Such loyalty and commitment in the modern game is rare, and Shola was not just a great player on the pitch but a key figure off it too.¨ “He is a leader of men, a great role model for our younger players and I wish him well for the remainder of his career.”
Managing Director Lee Charnley has this to say today about 32 year-old Shola:
“To stay at one club for 14 years is remarkable and something that Shola should be very proud of.” “We are lucky to have had him for his contribution both on and off the field.” ¨I would personally like to thank Shola for his commitment to the Club and wish him every success going forward.”
And Shola Ameobi himself said this after leaving his home town club:
“Following discussions with Newcastle United, both parties felt it was the right time for us to part company.” “I’ve been at Newcastle United all my career and I’ve enjoyed every moment and always worn the famous shirt with pride. I am now looking forward to starting a new chapter in my career.¨
“I would like to place on record a big thank you to everyone at Newcastle United. I wish the Club great success in the future, and I’m sure with the team and management they have, Newcastle United will go from strength to strength.¨
“Finally, a big thank you to the supporters who have always been fantastic.” “I hope to come back to Newcastle United one day in some capacity to help repay some of the faith and loyalty that everybody connected to the Club has shown me during my time here.”
Shola played 396 times for Newcastle with 79 goals over fourteen seasons, and we hope he gets a chance to play in the World Cup for the first time, for his country of birth – Nigeria – in Brazil next month.
Shola divided opinion among the fans and probably never reached his full potential, but you cannot say his heart wasn’t with Newcastle for the last 14 years, and we fully expect him to return to his home town club as probably a coach, sometime in the future – and that also seems what Shola wants to do.
These nine players are those whose contracts come to an end at the end of June and will not be renewed by the club.
But we expect more players who currently have active contracts to be put up for sale this summer, and they include Gabby Obertan, Sylvain Marveaux, Ben Arfa, and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, plus some of our younger players like Shane Ferguson, James Tavernier, Haris Vuckic, Romain Amalfitano and maybe Mehdi Abeid.