The three big winners and losers from the Newcastle United squad this season
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: Andy Carroll of Newcastle United (7) celebrates Federico Fernandez of Newcastle United (18) winning goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Southampton FC at St. James Park on December 08, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

Most Newcastle fans at the start of the season would have grabbed a 13th placed finish with both hands when you consider they replaced their Champions League-winning manager with Steve Bruce.

They went on to sell star man Ayoze Perez to a fellow English club.

Newcastle also opted against signing last season's top scorer Salomon Rondon - in place of bringing in Joelinton for a club-record-fee, who is not even a natural striker.

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These shenanigans behind the scenes meant that 10,000 supporters did not renew their season tickets in protest against the regime.

In addition to that, fan group 'Wor Flags' refused to create any flag displays until owner Mike Ashley departed.

People were confident of Newcastle going down, so much that bookmaker Paddy Power paid out on The Magpies being relegated before a ball had even been kicked.

It seemed that the walls were caving in and that relegation was a serious possibility, as the club were in disarray seemingly on and off the pitch.

However, Newcastle had a comfortable season in mid-table - and were already safe from relegation before the coronavirus pandemic sent world football into a frenzy.

Credit has to be given to Steve Bruce, he steadied the ship and exceeded the expectations of everyone.

The football has not been sparkling, and The Magpies certainly have not been entertaining to watch - but it is job done in the eyes of the regime and the supporters who have been downgraded over the years from European contenders to relegation survivors.

The motion of Newcastle's season epitomises what it is like to support this club, one minute you are up, the next minute you are down.

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There have been some standout performers in the side this season - but there are some that simply have been tough to watch.

Here are the top three winners and losers from this chaotic season for Newcastle United.

  • The winners list

Allan Saint-Maximin

Allan Saint-Maximin arrived on Tyneside last summer for a fee of £17m, which can only be described as one of the steals of the transfer window.

In quick-time, this Gucci headband wearing, social media legend has become a fans favourite - scoring three goals and assisting four along the way in his debut year in England.

'Maxi', as he is called by his teammates, has been a breath of fresh air into a Newcastle side who have lacked a player that gets fans excited for some time.

Saint-Maximin in full flow is a joy to watch, with his relentless dribbling embarrassing many full-backs who have had to mark him throughout the season.

Newcastle would not have been in such a comfortable position in the Premier League if it was not for the 23-year-old's contribution - which puts him at the top of the winners list.

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Martin Dúbravka

Just like Allan Saint-Maximin, without goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka, The Toon would not have been so comfortable in the Premier League table.

The Newcastle United player of the year made 137 saves, which was more than any other top-flight goalkeeper.

To add to that, the 31-year-old has kept 11 clean sheets this season.

Newcastle fans have dubbed the Slovakian international as the best goalkeeper the club has had since Shay Given, an omen to how good Dúbravka has been since he arrived in 2018.

Dúbravka has bailed out Newcastle on countless occasions this season and has put himself in the same bracket as the top-rated goalkeepers in the division with his recent performances.

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Miguel Almirón

Miguel Almirón has been well-liked by Newcastle supporters since he arrived from Atlanta United in January 2019.

The always smiling Paraguayan has added much-needed goals to his game this season, after firing blank in his first season on Tyneside.

'Miggy' has netted four times in the Premier League this season - add that with his tireless work rate, you have a player who has become one of the best talents the club possesses. 

Almirón has formed a partnership with fellow attacker Allan Saint-Maximin, which was highlighted in the 4-1 away win at Bournemouth earlier this month.

It will be interesting to see how the 26-year-old can build on his impressive performances this season, especially if The Magpies can add a bit more attacking quality to the side in the off-season.

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  • The losers list

Fabian Schär

What has happened to Fabian Schär?

Before the season had begun, Newcastle fans would have put the Swiss international as one of the first names on the team sheet.

But Schär has struggled to adapt to life under Steve Bruce, especially with the transition to a two at the back formation instead of a back three which former manager Rafa Benítez opted for.

The 28-year-old has been unable to be a regular in Bruce's side and even under a defensive crisis - head coach Bruce opted to play natural full-backs in Danny Rose and Emil Krafth in centre-back over Schär.

Schär did play in defensive midfield during the Premier League restart, but once again failed to really impress.

The former Deportivo La Coruña man has had his fair share of injuries this season which has not helped towards his season.

It would be no surprise if Schär was to leave Newcastle this summer, but a post on Twitter today did acknowledge that he wants to be a Toon player next season.

Joelinton

The £40m man, the new number nine, the young Brazilian who was set to take the Premier League by storm.

It did not work out this way for Joelinton, as the 23-year-old scored only two league goals all season.

'Joe', as he is called by head coach Steve Bruce, became only the third outfield Newcastle player to feature in every Premier League match in a season since Gary Speed and Gini Wijnaldum.

In his defence, Joelinton is not a natural striker - in fact, he played out wide for former club Hoffenheim before his big-money move to the North East. 

But the Brazilian has played on either wing during the restart, to facilitate for Dwight Gayle leading the line - however, has failed to impress there also.

It is hard to see which position Joelinton is best in, as he looks too void of confidence to make a serious impact.

If Newcastle are to bring in an adequate replacement, a loan move may be the best thing for him to help with his development.

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DeAndre Yedlin

DeAndre Yedlin has had a tough season in black and white.

The American came into the campaign seemingly as the first-choice right-back, but after the signing of Emil Krafth and the rise of Javier Manquillo - Yedlin has been left as an emergency back-up for Steve Bruce's side.

Whenever the 27-year-old does play, it seems the opposition target his side of the pitch - usually working to a great effect.

Yedlin has been linked with a move away since last season, and it looks increasingly likely that he is to depart the club this summer.

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