Why Harry Souttar would be a good long-term signing for Newcastle
According to the Chronicle Live, Newcastle United have been credited with an interest in Stoke City centre-back Harry Souttar, with manager Steve Bruce still keen to make a few more additions to his squad.
The Magpies roped in the likes of Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser, Jamal Lewis, Jeff Hendrick, and Mark Gillespie before the international deadline but they could yet target one or two players from the Football League before October 16. It has also been claimed that Steve Bruce would jump at the opportunity to add a quality young central defender to his ranks.
Born in Aberdeen, Scotland, to an Australian mother, Harry Souttar rose through the youth ranks of Dundee United and made his debut in the Scottish Premiership back in May 2016. Stoke City came calling for his services and Souttar completed a move south of the border after making just 3 first-team appearances for his boyhood club.
The towering youngster initially featured for Stoke’s U-23 side before making his first-team debut in an EFL Cup win over Rochdale in 2017. He enjoyed a productive loan spell at Ross County in the Scottish top-flight during the second half of the 2017-18 campaign and followed it up with successive loans at Fleetwood Town in the EFL League One.
Souttar featured as a regular starter for Fleetwood in the third-tier last term, making 36 appearances as Joey Barton’s side lost out to Wycombe Wanderers in the League One play-off semi-final. The 21-year-old has since returned to Stoke City and enjoyed a breakthrough in the Championship this term.
The centre-back started and delivered a man-of-the-match performance in the Potters’ 1-0 win over Preston as Michael O’Neill’s side registered their first league victory this season. He followed it up with another outstanding display in the 1-1 draw against Birmingham City.
Souttar has also caught the eye en route to Stoke’s march to the quarter-final of the EFL Cup this term, starting all three fixtures so far. The Australian has, in fact, shown his ability to keep some quality Premier League attackers at bay during his team’s victories over Wolves and Aston Villa.
Newcastle would benefit from Souttar’s potential
Despite the departure of Florian Lejuene on loan earlier in the summer, Newcastle aren’t really crying out for a new centre-back at the moment. The Magpies have Jamal Lascelles, Fabian Schar, Federico Fernandez, Ciaran Clark, and Paul Dummett competing for places at the heart of the defence, which is certainly more than enough for the time being.
However, it would be a bad idea for Steve Bruce to restructure his backline with one eye on the future. Schar went through a poor run of form in the previous campaign and is out of contract at St. James’ Park in 2021 along with fellow centre-backs Fernandez and Clark.
With the latter two already 31, Newcastle should ideally look to bring in a talented young defender with a view to gradually phasing him into the first-team mix.
Harry Souttar, to that end, presents an excellent long-term option for the Magpies. Having proven his mettle on loan in the Scottish top-flight and also in the English third-tier, the Australian international has now started to make waves with some top-notch displays in the Championship.
That he has managed to hold his own against quality Premier League sides in the EFL Cup clearly indicates the 21-year-old has what it takes to make the step up to the top-flight moving forward with a bit more polishing.
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Harry Souttar might not be the finished article just yet but he seems like a real talent with a bright future ahead of him.
Standing at 6ft 6in with a powerful frame, the young Australian certainly has the physicality to cope with the demands of playing in the Premier League and Newcastle should definitely fancy their chances of developing him into a quality player at the highest level moving forward.