Why Newcastle United should try and win the race for Liam Moore
According to TeamTalk (h/t Berkshire Live), Newcastle United are among a raft of Premier League clubs chasing Reading FC centre-back Liam Moore. The 27-year-old has also attracted interest from top-flight rivals West Ham and Leicester City, while Southampton, Crystal Palace, and Wolves are all keeping a close eye on the defender ahead of the January window.
Liam Moore rose through the youth system of Leicester City before making his professional debut in the Championship during the 2011-12 season. He spent time on loan at Bradford City and Brentford in the Football League as a part of his development plan before featuring prominently as the Foxes won the Championship title in 2013-14 to secure promotion to the Premier League.
The 27-year-old fell out of favour following Leicester’s promotion to the top-flight, making only 11 league appearances during the first half of the 2014-15 campaign. Moore was farmed out on loan to Brentford and Bristol City in the Championship before completing a permanent move to Reading in the summer of 2016.
The former England U-21 international has since established himself as one of the best defenders in the second-tier over the past few years. Moore, who has served as Reading’s club captain since the start of the 2019-20 season, has accumulated 188 appearances for the Berkshire outfit in all competitions, registering 6 goals and 4 assists.
Moore has been instrumental in Reading’s impressive start to the ongoing campaign in the Championship under new manager Veljko Paunovic. The centre-back has helped his club to six clean sheets in their opening 8 league games so far.
Moore would add more solidity to Newcastle’s backline
Newcastle pulled off some impressive deals in the summer window, with the likes of Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser, Jamal Lewis and Jeff Hendrick all coming through the door at St. James’ Park. The Magpies, though, didn’t bring in a new central defender during the summer.
Steve Bruce’s pursuit of a new centre-back in the summer wasn’t all that surprising given that Newcastle conceded 58 goals in the PL last season. That’s certainly disappointing considering that they had experienced centre-backs like Jamal Lascelles, Federico Fernandez, Fabian Schar, Ciaran Clark, Florian Lejeune and Paul Dummett.
The Magpies still have enough options at the back following the departure of Lejeune but it goes without saying that a defensive reshuffle is needed. Fernandez, Schar, and Clark are all out of contract in 2021 while Dummett too has less than two years remaining on his contract.
To put things into perspective, Newcastle beating off competition for Liam Moore in January would go a long way towards helping them shore up their leaky defence.
The Reading star has proven himself to be a cut above the rest in the Championship over the past couple of seasons and looks ready to test his credentials in the top-flight. Add to that his leadership skills and he could be a real asset to the Magpies over the coming seasons.
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Liam Moore still has several years remaining in his prime at 27 and had a brief stint in the Premier League with Leicester City earlier in his career. Hence, he’s not completely new to the top-flight and Newcastle would be well within their rights to expect the Reading skipper to make a smooth transition to the PL. All in all, this looks like a move that could work out well for the Toon Army.