Newcastle United have a ton of former players at other clubs, but there are more than a few surprising names that are surprisingly unattached despite having not yet retired.
Of course, players like Salomon Rondon and Jonjo Shelvey are still active but we wanted to dig a little deeper and find those whose current unemployment has raised an eyebrow or two.
We’ve picked out three former big-name Newcastle players that we can’t believe are currently without a club.
A few years before the big-money takeover, back when Steve Bruce was flirting so heavily with relegation that it was borderline inappropriate, Newcastle needed a miracle.
They needed somebody to emerge from the gloom and become a beacon of hope for the supporters. And along came Matty Longstaff.
Big brother Sean had already broken into the first team and was beginning to turn heads, when rumours of an even better younger brother began doing the rounds, and along came Matty with a wonderful goal against Manchester United on his debut (Premier League Goal of the Month, no less).
Matty was capped for England under-20s and, after a string of impressive performances for the Toon and faltering contract talks, there was talk of a move to Serie A with another northeast club that plays in black and white – Udinese.
That didn’t come to pass, though. After just twenty first-team appearances for Newcastle, Matty was loaned to Scottish Prem side Aberdeen, and League Two sides Mansfield and Colchester.
The latter of those loans was cut short by injury and Matty is now without a club. He’s only 23 years old. Surely there are struggling sides with gaps in their midfield keeping one eye on Tyneside.
Matty Longstaff scored the winner VS Manchester United (1-0) on his Premier League debut while playing alongside his brother Sean
His time at Newcastle United is now over but no one can ever take that moment away from him ❤️#NUFC
— Adam Pearson (YT) ⚫️⚪️ (@AdamP1242) June 14, 2023
Rose was the real deal.
He was a mainstay at left back for Tottenham for a decade, he’s been capped 29 times by England, and he belongs to a relatively short list of players to have turned out for both Newcastle and Sunderland.
Rose left Watford after their relegation to the Championship in 2022 and hasn’t played a competitive game since.
He never officially retired, though, and at 33 there may still be life in those legs yet if he fancies it. Watch this space.
Hatem Ben Arfa
The ultimate fan favourite. The glorious prelude to Allan Saint-Maximim. A player all Geordies know could’ve been the best in the world if he fancied it. But he didn’t fancy it.
A man who scored a goal by running in a completely straight line through the middle of the pitch and slotting it past the goalkeeper.
A man who scored a goal by running in an extremely not-straight line vs Blackburn and scoring a goal that would’ve made Maradona start purring like a happy cat.
A man who simply stopped playing football in 2022 and, instead, took part in 70 padel (a sort of tennis/squash lovechild – it’s brilliant, actually) tournaments in a year, rising to the verge of the top 1000 in the French padel rankings.
Some players can’t be tamed, and you should never try to. We’ve got everything crossed for a Ben Arfa comeback in 2024.
He’s possibly the least Eddie Howe player on Earth but Newcastle have a lot of injuries at the minute, that’s all we’re saying…