Date: 12th April 2019 at 7:44pm
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OPINION

When it comes to midfielders, Newcastle United face a much more unusual situation going into next season than most. 

Rafa Benitez essentially has five options to choose from.

Sean Longstaff is the long term darling of the Gallowgate End, while Ki Sung-yeung, despite struggling with injury since returning from the Asian Cup, looks as f he will still be there next season.

Beyond them, however, things get a little more complex.

Isaac Hayden has made it clear that he wants to leave the club for personal reasons, and you would be amazed if he was still there next year.

Less certain, however, are the futures of Mo Diame and Jonjo Shelvey. The former is in a precarious situation whereby he needs to make two more appearances this season stop secure a contract extension, while the latter has been linked with a move back to London with West Ham, as reported in the Daily Mail.

It will have come as a stinging blow to both men, therefore, to see Rafa Benitez’s team selection against Leicester City on Friday night.

Both started on the bench, and you would have to say that the writing is on the wall now, surely.

Obviously, Newcastle aren’t safe yet, but they’re as near as dammit, and if the manager isn’t willing to bring them in now ahead of a player struggling for form and another who is all but certain to leave the club, what chance do they really have going forward?

The answer is probably none.