As well as overseeing the arrival of several new players in the summer, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has also to identify those first team players he wants to move out, and in addition, those younger players he will want to keep at the club.
Ryan Donaldson – will he get new deal on Tyneside?
One of those youngsters is local lad Ryan Donaldson, the England U19 International, and his contract runs out at the end of June.
Ryan has just returned from a decent loan spell at Hartlepool United, and one reason he returned was so that Alan Pardew could take a closer look at the born and bred Geordie.
Ryan did his cause no harm in the Reserve team’s 2-1 win over Everton earlier this week, at the club’s Benton training HQ, where Alan Pardew was an interested observer.
This is what Ryan told the local Newcastle press today:
“This is my club – it’s very important to me – and if I can stay here, I’d love to.” “The gaffer said it was the first time he’s seen me, and it was important to get back here and show him what I can do,”
“We’ll see what happens. I’m not going to worry about it, to be honest.” “I’ll get my head down, work hard and see what happens.” “I think it’s too early to think about the summer.”
“I’d like to think I’d have options, but this club has always been my first priority.”
Donaldson scored with a header after 8 minutes against Everton, and would you believe it – that was his first headed goal ever at Newcastle, as he talked about the goal, the game and his time at Hartlepool:
“That was the first header I’ve scored.” “I got a bit of stick off the lads at Hartlepool as heading’s not my strong point.”
“I managed to lob that one in somehow, and I’ll take anything!” “It was brilliant. I always wanted to come back.” “It was nice to get out and see the lads again, I’ve been away two months.
“I enjoyed it a lot at Hartlepool. It was good to get out there and taste a bit of real football, it was a lot different to what I’m used to.”
“It was hard, but I enjoyed every minute of it. I played a lot of games.”
While on loan at Hartlepool, their manager and former Newcastle coach, Mick Wadsworth, said Ryan had become a much better player while at the Hartlepool club, where Ryan played 12 times with no goals.
Wadsworth would like to sign Ryan full time in the summer.
Of course it’s very important that young players on Tyneside get regular first team games somewhere, until they are ready to press for a first team place at Newcastle.
Ryan played 15 times with 10 goals for the England U17 side, when he was an out-and-out striker, and has 10 England U19 caps with one goal, since he moved to play a midfield role too.
Donaldson has 6 appearances for the Newcastle first team over the last two seasons, and we would be very surprised if this lad doesn’t get a new contract to keep him at Newcastle.