By Russell Edge

27th Mar, 2018 | 1:09pm

£5m mainstay flop must be first out the door in senior cull at Newcastle this summer


The phrase ‘quality over quantity’ appears to be what Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has been looking for when it comes to the transfer window.

Unfortunately for the Spaniard, he has failed to get his hands on either.

Just six signings were secured last summer as he was left scrabbling around the bargain basement to secure some reinforcements, and of those, only Florian Lejeune and perhaps Mikel Merino can be considered a real success.

One area which was severely lacking was the firepower up front, and Benitez ended up turning to fellow countryman Joselu to try and address the issue, splashing a reported £5million on signing him from Stoke.

However, the 28-year-old has failed to live up to expectations, and despite being used as a mainstay in the first team this season, has been something of a flop, with just four goals in 27 appearances; a dreadful return for a centre forward.

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As the summer draws closer, and Joselu approaches his first year on Tyneside, plans must be in place to conduct a cull of the deadwood at St James’ Park, and the Spaniard should be top of the list.

He might be a hard worker but when you are chosen to lead the line, goals come first and effort comes second – just look at the way Kanu and Dimitar Berbatov were heralded despite their lack of trying.

At his age, and with his contract the way it is, Newcastle might be able to recoup the full fee, and even possibly make a profit, from his sale, and with every single penny counting under Mike Ashley, that could prove pivotal to the summer’s recruitment.

There will be a whole host of exits through the doors at St James’ Park this summer – with senior figures such as Jack Colback, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Henri Saivet all queuing – but Joselu must be leading the way, although be sure it would be an amicable parting of ways.

In other Newcastle United news, the club are on the verge of a triple boost and could have it practically sealed in three weeks.

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