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Eddie Howe sends 'next club' message as five Newcastle exits confirmed

Paul Dummett is one of five Newcastle players leaving this summer <i>(Image: PA)</i>
Paul Dummett is one of five Newcastle players leaving this summer (Image: PA)

EDDIE Howe paid tribute to the "immeasurable" impact and influence of Paul Dummett and Matt Ritchie after the pair's Newcastle United summer exits were confirmed.

Had Newcastle qualified for Europe, Howe had hoped to keep the experienced duo to help deal with the fixture congestion, but Manchester United's FA Cup success at the weekend has led to the Magpies reluctantly waving goodbye to the pair.

Loris Karius is also leaving this summer, alongside Jeff Hendrick and Kell Watts.

Dummett's exit will bring to an end his 23-year association with Newcastle, who he joined when he was just nine years old. He broke through into the first team and played 215 times for the Magpies, his last appearance coming when he was introduced as an 89th minute substitute in the final day win at Brentford.

Ritchie, meanwhile, played 215 times for Newcastle after joining from Bournemouth in 2016, helping Rafa Benitez's side win promotion from the Championship in his first campaign on Tyneside.

He's been a fringe figure under Howe but remained hugely influential behind the scenes and has been valued immensely by the head coach.

Howe said: "I’d like to say a huge thank you to each of the players leaving the club this summer. They have all given so much to the cause in their own ways, and I know our supporters will join me in wishing them every success with the next step in their careers.

"It’s easy to judge players by appearances and goals, but the contribution made to the club by Paul and Matt in particular really has been immeasurable over many years. They have had a huge influence on our progress as a team and as a club.

“They have been incredible people and players to work with. Their dedication, professionalism and leadership in the dressing room during my time here has been first class, and they will bring undoubted quality and experience to their next clubs."

Karius made two appearances in his 18 months at St James' Park, including the Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester United.

Hendrick played 27 times during his four years on Tyneside before heading out on loan moves to QPR, Reading and Sheffield Wednesday. Watts made his Premier League debut in 2020 and has made more than 100 EFL appearances in various loan spells.

Howe added: “It’s a significant moment for Kell, who has been with the club since he was eight. Kell is a top professional with an outstanding attitude, and his next club will be incredibly fortunate to have him.

“I wish the players and their families the very best for the future.”

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Darren Eales, Newcastle's CEO, said: "On behalf of everyone at Newcastle United, I extend my sincere thanks to the players reaching the end of their contracts this summer.

"For Paul and Matt, so many years of consistent service as part of the first team squad is coming to an end and I want to pay tribute to them both for their immense contributions on and off the pitch.

"Paul is one of our academy’s great success stories. He is a shining example to young players in this region, and while Matt came to Newcastle through a different path, he will always be an adopted Geordie.

“Paul, Matt, Loris, Kell and Jeff have been consummate professionals during their time here, and I extend my very best wishes to each of them. They move on knowing they will always be welcome at St. James’ Park.”