Premier League insists it did not reject Saudi Arabia-backed bid for Newcastle United

Premier League insists it did not reject Saudi Arabia-backed bid for Newcastle United
Premier League insists it did not reject Saudi Arabia-backed bid for Newcastle United

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - NEWCASTLE UNITED 2019/20 RATINGS: MANAGER: Steve Bruce - 6 out of 10: A really tough one to mark. Took on the thankless task of replacing the immensely popular Rafa Benitez in the hotseat with the hugely unpopular owner Mike Ashley still in charge. Ultimately, he did exactly what Ashley wants from his managers - he kept the club safely in the top-flight. He also steered Newcastle to their first FA Cup quarter-final since 2006. EPA

GOALKEEPERS: Martin Dubravka - 8: To say it's been a busy season for the Slovakian would be an understatement. Made the most saves out of any Premier League keeper - 140 - and without many of these stops, Newcastle would be heading back down to the Championship. A few blunders along the way, but to be expected when left exposed so regularly. Named as club's player of the year. AP

Karl Darlow - 6: Back-up restricted to cup competitions with Dubravka firmly established as No 1. AFP

DEFENDERS: Fabian Schar - 6: The versatile Swiss endured a miserable restart and struggled badly for any sort of consistency. Shifted into midfield by Bruce which failed to pay off, then saw his season ended by a dislocated shoulder. Getty

Florian Lejeune - 5: Another injury-ravaged, soul-destroying season for the French centre-half, managing just eight appearances in all competitions. AFP

Paul Dummett 5: Local lad and another defender whose season has been decimated by injury. Not played since January. AFP

Jamaal Lascelles - 6: Club captain will never give less than 100 per cent and Newcastle certainly felt more organised when he plays but can look slow and cumbersome at times - see lack of footwork for opening West Ham goal in home draw after restart. Could miss the start of next season after undergoing an ankle operation. AFP

Emil Krafth - 5: Swedish right-back looked completely unsuited for the rough and tumble world of England's top-flight after arriving in a £5 million (Dh23.6m) deal from French side Amiens last summer. Barely played for middle part of season but did OK when brought back into team after restart. Was completely out of his depth when forced to play in a central defensive role due to injuries. AFP

DeAndre Yedlin - 5: American full-back has started just 12 games in all competitions this season and looks set for the exit after four seasons at the club. AFP

Ciaran Clark - 6: Another injury-blighted season and another big miss at the back for Newcastle. Just 14 league appearances for the experienced Irish centre-half. AFP

Jetro Willems - 6: Wing-back on loan from Eintracht Frankfurt saw his time cruelly ended by a serious knee injury in January. Form had been erratic at times but had shown flashes of quality. AFP

Federico Fernandez - 7: The last fit senior centre-half still standing by the end of the season as his defensive colleagues fell to injuries one after the other. A solid season overall form the Argentine, particularly after restart. EPA

Javi Manquillo - 6: Spanish full-back has made himself an invaluable player for Newcastle this season - probably his best since joining the club in 2017 - covering ably down both flanks. Another shifted uncomfortably into a central defensive role due to the late season injury avalanche. Getty

Danny Rose - 6: Signed on loan from Spurs in January and has been solid if unspectacular. Newcastle desperately need a left-back and Jose Mourinho certainly doesn't want him at Tottenham, but at 30-years-old, he would appear to be too old for the Mike Ashley signing criteria. PA

Jonjo Shelvey - 8: A good season from the midfielder who, embarrassingly for Newcastle, finished as second-top scorer with six goals. A wonderful passer who also puts in a shift for the team. Getty

Allan Saint-Maximin - 8: A very exciting talent, signed for around £16m last summer, who stepped up a level after the restart. Can be virtually unplayable for opponents when in full flow but needs more consistency, more composure in front of goal and better final product if he wants to reach the very top. Immense potential, though. Getty

Matt Ritchie - 7: A frustrating season for the winger/wingback due to injury but a whole-hearted player who will always give 100 per cent. Ended his scoring drought with fine goal against Spurs after the restart. Getty

Isaac Hayden - 7: Newcastle always feel a stronger outfit with Hayden sitting in front of the defence winning tackles and keeping things simple with the ball. Getty

Christian Atsu - 5: Winger has barely featured under Bruce, barring sporadic substitute appearances, and is set to leave the club this summer. AFP

Valentino Lazaro - 5: A frustrating time for the January loan signing from Inter Milan who was never given a run in the team by Bruce. Flashes of potential - excellent goal after coming on as substitute in the 4-1 win at Bournemouth, when also cracked the crossbar with a fierce strike - but not clear what is the midfielder's best position. Getty

Sean Longstaff - 6: Another facing a crucial season in his career. Local boy who has struggled for form and fitness this season but has the potential to become a first-team regular. Getty

Nabil Bentaleb - 5: The former Spurs midfielder was a huge disappointment after joining on loan from German side Schalke in January. The odd flash of quality but did not do enough to justify a permanent move. Getty

Matty Longstaff - 6: The 20-year-old brother of Sean looks set for a move to Italy after refusing to sign a new deal at the club, much to the frustration of manager Bruce. Scored fairy-tale winner against Manchester United on his Premier League debut in October but failed to kick-on from that early high. PA

Miguel Almiron - 7: Pacey midfielder who finally ended his goal drought this season and finished as Newcastle's top scorer with eight. A big season coming up for the Paraguayan - his third in England - where, like Saint-Maximin, needs to show more composure with his final ball. Still unclear what his best position is. Reuters

ATTACKERS: Andy Carroll - 5: A frustrating return to Tyneside for the big striker. Like the story of his career as a whole, has been hindered by a series of niggling injuries and is still awaiting his first goal since rejoining last summer. Can feel rightly aggrieved, though, that he wasn't given more of a run as Bruce stuck by the misfiring Joelinton. Getty

Joelinton - 4: An absolute disaster of a first season in England for the club-record signing from Hoffenheim. Given the famous No 9 shirt but is clearly unsuited to lead the line. Four goals all season - and just two in the league in 32 starts - and needs a miraculous change in form and fortune if he join the list of Newcastle attacking greats. Getty

Dwight Gayle - 6: A prolific striker in the Championship who struggles to repeat the feat at the top level. Still looked a more natural finisher than Joelinton and contributed three goals after the restart. Getty

Yoshinori Muto - 4: A reminder that poor signings were made under Benitez's reign as well. The £9.5m signing in the summer of 2018 has made two league starts all season and scored one goal - against Leicester in the League Cup. AFP

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