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Could bottom-placed Newcastle surpass even their 2016 expensive relegation?

Is Rafa Benitez as guilty as Steve McClaren was of wasting Ashley’s cash on duds and second-rate players not cut out for the Premier League?


Newcastle slumped to the foot of the Premier League table after the weekend’s defeat at home to Brighton. And while fans have spent much of this season antagonising against owner Mike Ashley, the team that took to the pitch at St James Park on Saturday cost roughly the same as the 2016 version which went down as the most expensive ever to be relegated.

The Magpies have been abject so far this season. Winless, the weekend’s loss to the Seagulls was their sixth straight home defeat. Winter is coming, and it looks like being a brutal one at St James Park. A chronic lack of investment in the summer already means the January window will be spent fixing holes in a bid to play catch up in the league.

But, is this Newcastle squad really so under-funded it should be bottom of the pile? Or is Rafa Benitez as guilty as Steve McClaren was of wasting Ashley’s cash on duds and second-rate players not cut out for the Premier League? Online betting site Fifa55 takes a closer look…

When the Magpies bid farewell to the Premier League in 2016, their fate had been sealed with a draw at bottom-placed Aston Villa. The team which left the field of play that day had cost nearly £100m to assemble. Ashley may as well have poured his money down the Villa Park drains. It was the most expensive team to ever be relegated.

But Saturday’s team which lost to Chris Hughton’s side are hardly much cheaper. Indeed, the squad values are largely comparable give or take for the ongoing hyperinflation in the Premier League. Even more ominously, this Newcastle side looks a worse team than the 2016 flops.

Wijnaldum and Sissoko may have proven to be expensive flops when on Tyneside but you can’t help but feel they’d probably add something to the current crop. With no potency up top, the untested Muto may be the Toon’s only hope of firing the goals to lift them to safety. Newcastle simply must stay in touch until the January window and hope Mr Ashley puts his hands in his pocket.

Newcastle squad from 1-1 draw with Aston Villa on 7 May 2016:

Darlow – £3.5m
Anita – £6.3m
Mbemba – £9m
Lascelles – £3.5m
Dummett – academy
Tioté – £3.2m
Colback – free
Townsend – £12m
Sissoko – £1.8m
Wijnaldum – £15m
Cissé – £9m

On the bench

De Jong – £6.5m
Shelvey – £12m
Ayoze – £1.5m
Taylor – academy
Woodman – academy
Mitrovic – £13.8m

Total £63.3m + £33.8m = £97.1m

Newcastle squad from 0-1 defeat to Brighton 20 Oct 2018:

Dubravka – £3.6m
Manquillo – £4.5m
Fernandez – £6m
Lascelles – £3.5m
Yedlin – £5m
Kenedy – loan
Shelvey – £12m
Diame – £4m
Ritchie – £4m
Perez – £2.6m
Muto – £9.6m

On the bench

Darlow – £3.5m
Clark – £5m
Schar – £3m
Hayden – £2.5m
Atsu – £6m
Joselu – £5m
Murphy – £12m

Total £54.8m + £37m = £91.8m

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