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Reinforcing midfield, finding a No. 9 – Three things Newcastle United need to do this January to seal a mid-table finish

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Three things Newcastle United need to do to in the January transfer window

When the world first heard that former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez took over at Newcastle United, many expected it to be the second coming of the Toons. However, nothing has panned out since then, and while they escaped relegation last season, it was by the skin of their teeth.

The Toon Army have struggled to compete with Premier League’s big boys, thanks to a vast difference in transfer budgets. While Newcastle may never have the budget of the big boys, the club need to add the right players and make sure they’re good enough for the English top tier.

Now that the January transfer window is open, a few deals can be made to address key areas.

#3 Replace Ayoze Perez

The Spaniard has struggled since arriving in the Premier League, never really hitting the heights he once did in the La Liga. However, now that Newcastle United are facing the butt of the barrel they need to make sure they have the right players to save their season. While the threat of relegation is at a decent distance, it can creep up on a side very fast.

However, replacing Ayoze Perez is not something that can be done in a hurry and thus the club needs to take their time and scout the right player. But they should start looking – or even bring in a potential target on loan – to help them out and prove to the 26-year-old that he is replaceable.

#2 Find an affordable goal-scorer

Goal-scorers can come from anywhere, but for Newcastle, they need it to come now and fast, especially with their front line struggling. Former West Brom striker Salomon Rondon leads their goalscoring charts with five in 15 appearances but a far second is Ayoze Perez and centre-back Ciaran Clark with 2.

That means that at the moment, till they find an affordable goal-scorer there is nothing that Newcastle can do. But that statement doesn’t mean that they need a striker, it could be a winger or even a midfielder in great form but dependable to find the back of the net. If Benitez does find that, then they itch one step closer to doing well.

#1 Reinforce their midfield

Jonjo Shelvey, Mohamed Diame, Ki Sung-Yeung and Isaac Hayden, that is the extent of Newcastle United’s midfield line. And to make things worse Sung-young ki is injured and can’t be called upon till the Asia cup is over, which means that the Toon Army have a real problem.

Read More: Three players Newcastle United should look to sign from the Championship – including sizzling 22-year-old goal machine

While they have been linked with a move for Fulham’s Tom Cairney (h/t The Independent) and a few others, nothing has panned out yet. But if one thing is for sure, Newcastle United need at least two more midfielders, especially with Jonjo Shelvey (h/t The Sun) on his way out. A deep-lying playmaker and a central box-to-box midfielder to help out would be ideal at this stage of the season.

Newcastle Dragon

Newcastle United signing this former France U21 goal machine should be the way forward for Benitez

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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.

Verdict

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.

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Liverpool

Who is this 19-year-old Championship wonder kid being surveyed by Premier League giants? All you need to know

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Premier League Opinion: Scout Report – Bilal Brahimi

Middlesbrough are a club that have always been renowned for producing some of the best young talents that English football has seen. Their Rockliffe Park Academy has a long history for only developing the brightest, most talented players.

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

Background 

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.

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Newcastle Dragon

Answer to Pellegrini’s woes? – Here is why West Ham must acquire the services of this 27-year-old PL midfield veteran

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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.

Newcastle seem to have moved on from their former midfield duo of Mo Diame and Jonjo Shelvey because of the sudden resurgence of young midfield starlets Issac Hayden and Sean Longstaff, who have both taken the Premier League by storm this season.

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.

Read More West Ham United News, Click Here: West Ham United News

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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