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Should Owen and Martins stay at Newcastle?

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Newcastle have had a mixed bag of fortunes this summer. The takeover by Mike Ashley and a new manager in Sam Allardyce has buoyed expectations for the Newcastle faithful.

However, failure to grab primary targets (Tal Ben Haim and Steve Sidwell both chose Chelsea over Newcastle) and the news that both Michael Owen and Obafemi Martins have ‘buy-out’ clauses in their contracts are sickening blows to Newcastle’s plans for recapturing lost glory.

Owen reportedly has a 9m buyout clause and has said little or nothing about his current situation. Martins – with all his problems – has a 13m clause and recently spoke of challenging for titles under Newcastle. Both strikers are central to Newcastle’s chances of challenging for a European spot next season, but they bring with them added pressure on the club and manager because their buy-out clauses can be triggered at any time.

If someone was to come and make a bid for Owen in August, that would leave Newcastle with very little time to react and go buy a replacement striker. Ditto for Martins.

But that’s just the Newcastle side of the issue. For the players, there’s a different problem – with Premiership experience under their belt (and both being quality strikers), do they stick it out at Newcastle for another year or leave in search for greener pastures? Does club loyalty trump out player ambitions?

Newcastle can’t know for sure if the players will stay, even if they say they would – if football transfers have taught us anything it’s that players can change their minds even after they pledge their heart and soul to a club.

So, with that in mind, do you think that Owen and Martins should stay at Newcastle?

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Ahmed Bilal created Sportslens in 2006. He is a business consultant and entrepreneur who helps businesses identify and overcome their biggest challenges. He’s also the founder of Football Media, an online advertising agency that specialises in sports and male audience targeting, with a monthly reach of 100m+ sports fans in the UK and US. He’s also the previous owner of Soccerlens.com – a sports news site that reaches 3m+ readers / month.