Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has revealed he is already being forced to leave his senior stars out of training as a result of the squad size ahead of the imminent return of those out on loan.
The Magpies have been fortunate with injuries in the latter stages of the season, with Jesus Gamez the only first team absentee, meaning the Spanish boss has had a full compliment of players to pick from as they look to finish the campaign on a high.
However, the numbers mean that he has had to leave some of the club’s senior stars out of training, including full size matches, and that those set to make an immediate return from their loan deals will also have to sit on the sidelines.
He told the Chronicle: “Some players will come back (before the end of the season).
“At the moment we don’t need more bodies because everybody is available. We even have a problem when we play 11 vs 11 in training because somebody is left out.
“In terms of competition, it’s difficult for them. As I say we have had to leave a couple of players out of training.
“So we can’t bring in more players if we are leaving some out.”
Football Insider verdict
Any returning players hoping to try and make a late surge into Benitez’s plans, such as Adam Armstrong, are in for disappointment when they get back to Tyneside. Having everyone available might seem like a positive, and it is for Benitez, but there are going to be those who are left on the sidelines not only for the first team games but for training. Does the squad need trimming? Absolutely not, but what the Magpies could do with is more quality in depth, which might mean fringe figures being sold and replaced by those who could challenge for a first team role rather than act solely as back up.
In other Newcastle United news, one senior mainstay could be all that is left of one position in a major cull this summer.