Newcastle United should raid the Championship for these three players
Newcastle United are in need of an injection of fresh blood into the squad in the January transfer window with the relegation battle looming large.
The Magpies are 15th in the Premier League standings with just 18 points from 21 matches (W4, D6, L11). Currently, they are two points above the relegation zone. Rafa Benitez’s side has picked up just one win in their last 8 games and are in desperate need of new additions to a squad that has been stretched thin.
To that end, here we look at three players from the EFL Championship that Newcastle should look to sign in January as they look to salvage their season;
Nick Powell (Wigan Athletic)
Nick Powell has grown into one of the finest attacking midfielders in England’s lower divisions over the past couple of years and could make a huge difference at Newcastle United.
The former Manchester United midfielder was instrumental in helping Wigan Athletic achieve promotion back to the EFL Championship last season and has continued to make huge strides in the English second division this time out. So far in the 2018/19 term, the 24-year-old has bagged 4 goals and set up 5 more in 18 appearances with his progress being somewhat stalled by an injury he picked up last month.
A powerful presence in the No.10 position, Powell has the ability to create and score in equal measure as seen by his performances for Wigan over the past year or so. Signing him would provide the Magpies with an added source of goals from the midfield and that would help them since they lack in-form strikers besides Salomon Rondon.
Moreover, Powell is in the final year of his contract and will be available at a bargain price this month – all the more reason for the Tynesiders to swoop in.
Bradley Dack (Blackburn Rovers)
Dack joined Blackburn in the summer of 2017 from Gillingham and played a huge role in helping them earn promotion to the Championship. Dack plundered 18 goals and set up 9 more in 42 League One matches last season, helping his team to a second-place finish and automatic promotion.
And the Englishman has carried on from where he left off last season. So far in the 2018/19 campaign, the midfielder has bagged 12 goals and assisted 7 more in 24 appearances across all competitions.
A naturally gifted attack-minded midfielder, the 24-year-old has the ability to create goals aplenty with defence-splitting through passes and can find the back of the net with the utmost regularity. Dack also possesses the ability to drive at opponents with his dribbling skills and can cause problems with his sharp movement and intelligent link-up play.
With Newcastle crying out for a No.10 who can contribute with goals, Dack would be the ideal addition that Benitez is craving for in his squad.
Neal Maupay (Brentford)
The 22-year-old Maupay is in his second year with Brentford, having joined the club from St. Etienne in the summer of 2017. He had a fairly solid debut campaign in England as he produced returns of 13 goals and 5 assists in 46 appearances across all competitions last season.
The Frenchman has stepped on the gas in the 2018/19 term and has started the campaign in belligerent form. So far in the ongoing season, Maupay has already scored 15 goals and set up 6 more in 24 Championship appearances. In fact, the 22-year-old is the joint second-highest goal-getter in the English second division along with Norwich City’s Teemu Pukki.
A quality finisher, the Frenchman is at his best when playing as a centre-forward. But if needed, he can also play the role of a wide attacker and as a No.10. The former French U21 international possesses blistering pace that allows him to breeze past defenders. He also has the ability to play with his back to the goal and hold up the ball to bring his teammates into play.
Blessed with versatility and all-around abilities, the 22-year-0ld Maupay will only get better from here on and could prove to be the ideal foil for Salomon Rondon as Newcastle seek to avoid the relegation battle in the second half of the campaign.
Newcastle United signing this former France U21 goal machine should be the way forward for Benitez
Newcastle United Opinion: Why Martin Terrier will be a top fit under Benitez?
According to January’s report from L’Equipe, Newcastle United wanted to sign Lyon ace Martin Terrier but the French club were reluctant to sell the player in the winter transfer window.
The Magpies broke their transfer record in January by signing Paraguayan playmaker Miguel Almiron from Atlanta United.
Almiron has quickly become a favourite at the St. James Park, giving a glimpse of his brilliance on and off the ball. He is yet to break his duck but the early signs are certainly promising.
Newcastle United have not had the best of seasons in the Premier League and were once thickly involved in the relegation battle. The Toon Army have struggled to score goals consistently, with on-loan centre-forward Salomon Rondon being the club’s only chief source of goals.
The Venezuelan has led the line brilliantly this campaign, scoring 9 goals and providing 5 assists.
Ayoze Perez has also stepped up of late, yet Newcastle’s need for a creative goal-scoring attacker remains clear. That being said, should Rafael Benitez reignite his interest in Martin Terrier?
Absolutely! Terrier joined Lyon from Lille last summer and he didn’t take much to find his feet at his new club. He has netted six goals in 32 games across all competitions and recently scored the opener in Lyon’s 3-2 victory over Montpellier.
The Frenchman has already shown enough of his quality that should tempt Newcastle in making a serious offer for him in the summer.
Terrier is a versatile forward, who is equally comfortable playing anywhere across the frontline. But he excels playing in the hole behind the striker as it allows the 22-year-old to run the show and use his creativity to set up chances for his teammates.
The former France U21 international likes to take promising positions in the final third, making his off the ball movement very deceptive for the opposition. He is a clinical finisher in front of the goal and is massively valuable for his ability to hold up the ball to let his teammates make the runs.
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Standing at 6ft, Terrier is also good in the air and possesses enough pace and acceleration to cause damage to the opposition defence. What makes him such an exciting player is his ability to make late runs in the box and awareness to make space for his teammates in the attacking third.
Terrier is a promising talent and he could become a vital player for Newcastle United in the near future if Benitez manages to land him. The French ace has the qualities to thrive under Benitez and stir up the excitement at St. James’ Park.
Who is this 19-year-old Championship wonder kid being surveyed by Premier League giants? All you need to know
Premier League Opinion: Scout Report – Bilal Brahimi
Players such as Lee Cattermole, Stuart Downing and James Morrison are living legacies of this famous football clubs. Even now, their production quality certainly hasn’t dropped. One player from their academy is now turning heads even at Premier League level.
Bilal Brahimi is a 19-year-old French left-winger who currently features mainly for the Boro U23 side although he did make a first-team appearance earlier this season. His exploits have attracted interest from both Liverpool and Newcastle United, as suggested by Hull Live.
Brahimi was born in Paris, France on the 14th of March in 2000 and that’s where stayed until 2017 when he finally made the switch to a professional football clubs.
After spending time with multiple amateur clubs within Paris, he was signed up by Leixoes who play in the Portuguese 2nd division.
It was here that he was scouted by Middlesbrough and within a year of being in Portugal, he was given the opportunity to spread his wings as a footballer at the famous Middlesbrough academy. Since then, there’s been no stopping him as he’s turned into one of their brightest young prospects.
Since he mostly represents the U23 side, he plays in the Premier League 2 and has scored once and assisted once in his 13 league appearances this season. His lone first team appearance came in August when he came on in an EFL Cup against Rochdale.
Style of Play
He is a tricky winger who loves to get on the ball but also displays amazing unselfishness in the final third. His ambition to pick out teammates is matched by his ability as the eventuality of a misplaced pass from the youngster is rare.
Quite direct in his approach, he has the right attributes to develop into a tricky Premier League winger given the right training and nurturing. All this added to the fact that he also plays as a striker, means that he’s effectively guaranteed a future in the English game.
The Way Forward
Brahimi turned 19 just a week ago and pushing a player of such youth into making a difficult decision could have serious effects on his growth as a player and hence it would be best for him to stay at Middlesbrough for at least another season.
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With that said, when clubs like Liverpool or Newcastle United come calling, irrespective of who you are, it will be really difficult to turn them down and with the right intentions, he can be turned into a superstar in the coming years.
Answer to Pellegrini’s woes? – Here is why West Ham must acquire the services of this 27-year-old PL midfield veteran
West Ham United Opinion: Hammers must look to sign Jonjo Shelvey
Jonjo Shelvey is a 27-year-old Newcastle United midfielder, who hasn’t been able to showcase his qualities for the team this season due to prolonged periods out injured. Having recently returned, Shelvey has found it hard to cope and is struggling to find first-team football.
Shelvey was a product of the Charlton Athletic academy from whom he was scouted and signed by Liverpool all the way back in 2010 as a 17-year-old. After impressing during a loan spell at Blackpool, he won himself a place in the Liverpool squad.
He was part of the Reds team that successfully won the English League Cup in 2012 and was a key player at Anfield during his time there. Since then though, his career took him to Swansea before he eventually moved to St.James’ Park back in 2017.
Since making the switch to Tyneside, Shelvey became a key feature of the Newcastle side and scored multiple important goals for them as well. His record in a Magpies shirt boasts 7 goals and 19 assists from over 100 games.
As suggested by Northern Echo, Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham United side are said to be keen on bringing the 27-year-old to the London Stadium as they are looking to improve their bid for European football next season.
They made multiple sensational signings at the start of the campaign including the big money acquisitions of top players like Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko but their season has been a massive let down.
The constant injury problems being faced by Jack Wilshere added to the fact that Mark Noble is now 31 should be motivation enough for Pellegrini to make a move for the Magpies’ man in the summer as he would add a degree of control to the Newcastle midfield.
He displays amazing composure whenever he gets on the ball in midfield and is capable of either beating his man or picking out a forward runner. He is also a very good finisher of the ball and his contributions in the early stages of this season certainly cannot be overlooked.
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Shelvey was in fairly decent form in the opening months of the current season but the injury he faced ahead of the holiday period has set his progress back quite a bit.
He has since returned and will obviously be raring to prove a point and that’s why a move to West Ham will certainly be fruitful for the player.
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