Irish defender Ciaran Clark has been left out of the 25-man Newcastle United squad ahead of the second half of the season. The Republic of Ireland international defender was one of the few first-team players dropped to make way for the new signings.

Newcastle United are in a relegation battle in the Premier League and the new owners have splashed the cash on new players to help Eddie Howe in the bid to survive the relegation zone at the end of the season. Mike Ashley was the club owner at the start of the season before he sold the club to a Saudi-led consortium officially in October. The new owners sacked manager Steve Bruce some weeks after their takeover was completed officially and appointed ex-Burnley and Bournemouth man Howe as their new manager.

The Magpies had not won a single league game by the time Howe was appointed, but they have been able to win twice under his watch.The two wins under Howe have gone a long way to push the club to within one point of safety on the Premier League log. Howe got his first win as a Newcastle United manager with the 1-0 home win over fellow relegation battlersBurnley thanks to the first half strike from English striker Callum Wilson. The second win came in the last league game at Leeds United with midfielder JonjoShelvey getting the only goal in a 1-0 away win over the Whites.

The aforementioned Clark will not feature for Newcastle United again this season after his spot in their 25-man squad was taken by fellow centre back Dan Burn. The Magpies signed Burn from fellow Premier League team Brighton and Hove Albion in a deal reported to be around £12m. Burn was one of the five new players signed before the end of last month’s transfer window at Newcastle United.

Ex-Aston Villa defender Clark has played 14 times for Newcastle United this season in all competitions. He has one assist in 13 league outings.