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The Future Of The Fab Five

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Our five loanee's have all proved to be instrumental players this season, and Steve Bruce has moved recently to say he's looking to keep Danny Welbeck, Sulley Muntari, Ahmed Elmohamady, Nedum Onuoha and not forgetting John Mensah.

As the season draws to a close, deals are being tied up, cut loose and plans are in motion for all teams as they look to build for next season. Here, we've taken a look at what cryptic clues have been given by clubs with hope of gathering some insight into whether The Fab Five are sticking around.

Ahmed Elmohamady - Season Loan from ENPPI

The "Egyptian Beckham" arrived at the start of the campaign, and nobody really knew anything about him. He has since proved to be very useful up and down the right hand side, if a little raw. However the lad is only 23 years old, and has the best years ahead of him. Hence Steve Bruce pulling the trigger on a £2.5m permanent transfer which will see Elmo stay on Wearside for the next 3 years. 

Nedum Onuoha - Season Loan from Manchester City

Nedum has really impressed me, and his unflashy performances have gone a little under the radar with a lot of fans. Strong in the tackle, solid defensively if a little too defensive for a right-back in this day and age, but once again he's a fantastic prospect. Our hopes of keeping him seem to have had a little bit of a boost too recently too. When Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini spoke to the press recently, what was more interesting was what he didn't say. Whilst bemoaning his recently injury problems, he also defended the decision to loan so many of his players including Emmanuel Adebayor, Wayne Bridge and even Roque Santa Cruz. No mention at all of Nedum Onuoha, which would suggest the versatile defender isn't even in his thoughts. 

I think there's every chance we see Nedum pulling on the Red & White for years to come, and I sincerely hope we make his move permanent.

Sulley Muntari - 6 Month Loan from Inter Milan

Sulley's future is somewhat in the balance. The Ghanaian has spoke recently saying he has "no idea" if the club will pull the trigger on a £6m deal to keep him at the club, despite the man himself saying to Roker Report at a talk-in "I am staying after June." Steve Bruce mentioned in his build-up to the Liverpool match that keeping the midfielder is one of his top priorities, but he needs to prove his desire and fitness.

Muntari's performances on the pitch have been a mixed bag. I can't say I paid particular attention to him at Portsmouth, other than he was often heralded as a key player. He was outstanding in his first start at Stoke City, but since faded until another magnificent game against Arsenal. I do hope this inconsistency is not a trait of Muntari's game, and he gets more solid and consistent from this moment on, as he'd be a very useful player to have around next season.

So whilst the jury is out on his performance, at least he appears to want to stay, and the decision is purely in our hands. A very good chance he'll be kept on in my opinion.

John Mensah - Season Loan from Lyon

John The Rock, or as many have come to know him - John The Crock. This one is much more tricky for the club. When fit, John is a fantastic defender, possibly even the best at the club, unfortunately he's prone to a breakdown at any moment. It's public knowledge that there's a buy clause in his loan agreement where if he hits 25 games, then we pay £4.8m to make it permanent. Thats a hell of a lot of money for someone of his injury problems.

On the plus side, he's a model professional. A hard-working, quiet, humble, God-fearing man, but if the decision were down to me, I'd be playing the game to only get 24 appearances out him, and send him on his way with a massive thank you.

If Lyon could lower their price then we might be in business, but £4.8m is too much for a player likely to spend more time on the treatment table than on the pitch. Don't do it Brucey!

Danny Welbeck - Season Loan from Manchester United

I think I love Danny Welbeck. He's completely made me along with many other fans forget Darren Bent existed. Steve Bruce seems rather fond of him too, and has stressed getting Danny back next season is No.1 priority.

Depending on which newspaper you read, it looks as though Danny will be allowed to stay on loan for a further season, which is a great consolation if we can't get him full-time.

Danny himself has been very coy on his future, saying that he has spoke to Sir Alex Ferguson, but won't reveal the nature of the conversation, nor will he commit to saying he'd like to come back, despite rumblings about liking the town, players and management.

If I were Brucey, I'd break the bank for the lad. Tell United to name their price. Well, any price that doesn't involve Jordan Henderson moving the other way.

Either way, it's looking a strong possibility that 'Welbz' will be back one way or another, and I couldn't be more delighted if its true. To think some said of his signing "No better than Martyn Waghorn, failed at Preston".... Tsk Tsk.

Conclusion

So it looks like we'll be left with at least four of the five back next season. Possibly even all five, but John Mensah is a bit of a coinflip, and a risk I wouldn't take. However, I'm sure Steve Bruce will know what he's doing, and any day of the week John Mensah at 60% is better than a 100% Nyron Nosworthy or Matt Kilgallon.

A testament to how far we've come when we're debating whether or not we want the captain of a World Cup quater final team.

Which of The Fab Five would you keep? Leave a comment and let us know!