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Newcastle signing this 28-year-old Burnley star for free would represent smart business

Jeff Hendrick celebrates after scoring (Getty Images)
Jeff Hendrick left Burnley for Newcastle United (Getty Images)

Why Newcastle signing Jeff Hendrick on a free transfer would be smart

According to TEAMtalk (h/t The Chronicle), Newcastle United are considering a double swoop for Burnley stars Jeff Hendrick and Robbie Brady.

Both Jeff Hendrick, 28, and Robbie Brady, 28, are out of contract in the summer and as things stand, they’ll be leaving Turf Moor on a free transfer in July. However, Newcastle United will face stiff competition for the pair with Celtic and six Premier League and Championship clubs also contemplating to offer the duo deals, the report adds. (h/t The Chronicle)

Jeff Hendrick of Burnley holds off Enda Stevens of Sheffield United during the Premier League match between Sheffield United and Burnley FC at Bramall Lane on November 02, 2019 in Sheffield, United Kingdom. (Getty Images)
Jeff Hendrick of Burnley holds off Enda Stevens of Sheffield United during the Premier League match between Sheffield United and Burnley FC at Bramall Lane on November 02, 2019 in Sheffield, United Kingdom. (Getty Images)

Speaking about Hendrick, he joined Burnley in 2016 after spending seven seasons with Derby County where he netted 26 goals in 214 appearances. The midfielder has made 139 appearances for Burnley, scoring 10 goals. This season, the Republic of Ireland international has supplied three goals and two assists in 27 appearances across all competitions for Sean Dyche’s side.

Meanwhile, Newcastle United added Nabil Bentaleb, Valentino Lazaro and Danny Rose to their roster – all on loan. However, results haven’t been that great as Steve Bruce’s side currently lie 13th in the table. The Newcastle board have to be ambitious if they are to see their club improve next term, with the midfield and attacking department requiring bolstering.

Isaac Hayden has been a regular fixture in the middle of the park this season. Sean Longstaff and Matty Longstaff have been in and out of the team, while Jonjo Shelvey has endured an injury-ravaged campaign. This has not allowed Bruce to achieve a settled engine room, resulting in a lack of cohesion between the midfield and the attack.

Jeff Hendrick of Burnley has a shot blocked by Adam Smith of AFC Bournemouth during the Premier League match between Burnley FC and AFC Bournemouth at Turf Moor on February 22, 2020 in Burnley. (Getty Images)

Truly, Bruce needs more creativity and energy in the midfield to ease the burden on his forwards. That makes Jeff Hendrick such a smart fit at St. James’ Park.

Hendrick has been a consistent performer for Burnley ever since arriving at the club from Derby County. A central midfielder by trade, the 28-year-old is capable of playing as a right-sided midfielder or as an attacking midfielder behind the striker. He can be an attacking threat for the Magpies and would also do the defensive job when required.

With three goals and two assists this season for the Clarets, the Republic of Ireland international would be a good option to add much-needed goals from midfield, which Newcastle have sorely missed. The Magpies’ midfield is in urgent need of reinforcements considering the quality they have at their disposal right now.

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce reacts angrily on the touchline. (Getty Images)
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce reacts angrily on the touchline. (Getty Images)

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Hendrick is a proven Premier League material and if he is able to reproduce that for Newcastle, he would be a smart signing for Bruce. Plus, the former Derby County star’s versatility will be a bonus for Bruce and Newcastle.

Verdict

On a potential free transfer at the end of the season, Hendrick would represent a shrewd piece of business for the Toon Army.

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