Why Javier Manquillo could be a shrewd signing for Crystal Palace in January

According to a report from The Telegraph, as relayed by The Sun, Crystal Palace have been credited with an interest in Newcastle United right-back Javier Manquillo ahead of the mid-season trading period in January. 

Premier League rivals West Ham and Brighton are also in the race to sign the 25-year-old Spaniard, who has only played a bit-part role for the Magpies this season. (Telegraph h/t Sun)

Manquillo, who signed a three-year deal while completing a move to St. James’ Park from Atletico Madrid back in the summer of 2017, is out of contract at the end of the ongoing campaign in 2020, and Newcastle could look to cash in on him during the mid-season window to avoid losing him on a free transfer. (Telegraph h/t Sun

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Javier Manquillo has only made 53 appearances for Newcastle United since joining from Atletico Madrid back in 2017 (Getty Images)

The former Spanish U-21 international started his footballing education at Real Madrid in his homeland before turning professional with Atletico Madrid. However, he only accumulated a handful of first-team appearances for the Los Rojiblancos and spent time on loan at Liverpool and Sunderland in the Premier League, as well as at Marseille in France. 

Newcastle United eventually snapped him up for a fee of just £3 million in 2017 following their return to the top-flight and Manquillo has since gone on to make 53 appearances for the Magpies in all competitions thus far, registering five assists in the process. 

Having largely found himself behind the likes of Emil Karfth and DeAndre Yedlin in the pecking order earlier in the ongoing campaign, the 25-year-old has clocked up some decent playtime in recent weeks, starting each of Newcastle’s last three games in the Premier League against the likes of Sheffield United, Southampton and Burnley. 

Indeed, Steve Bruce has shown a bit of confidence in his abilities of late but Maquillo’s future at Tyneside beyond the end of the ongoing campaign continues to be up in the air, with the Magpies yet to show any signs of offering him fresh terms. 

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Manquillo had a brief stint on loan at Sunderland in the Premier League (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Crystal Palace currently sit 10th in the standings following a promising first half of the campaign that has seen the Eagles accumulate 6 wins and 4 draws from 16 games so far (at the time of writing), and manager Roy Hodgson will surely be weighing up his options ahead of the January window as he aims to push on for a respectable finish. 

A tally of just 14 goals scored and 18 conceded in 16 games clearly epitomizes the need to add some much-needed creative edge to a rather blunt attack that has been far too reliant on the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend, neither of whom has hit top gear this term.

With that in mind, however, Palace’s links with a versatile full-back like Javier Maquillo certainly can’t be played down, given that the Eagles are currently short of specialist options at right-back following the sale of Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Man United this past summer. 

Despite the South Londoners boasting of an impressive defensive record in the Premier League, Hodgson will surely need to plug the void left by Wan-Bissaka’s departure, and Maquillo looks like a player in the right age bracket with more than enough top-level experience under his belt to do a job for Palace.

Verdict

Joel Ward started the first 13 league games in that role and did a pretty good job while Martin Kelly has now stepped in to start the last three games following Ward’s injury against Liverpool last month. Palace have just enough viable options at right-back for the time being but they are riding a thin line, and that should be a cause of concern for Hodgson.

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Manquillo is out of contract at Newcastle United in 2020 (Getty Images)

Manquillo, who has illustrated the versatility to play as a full-back on either side of the pitch at Newcastle, would be a rather underwhelming replacement for someone like Wan-Bissaka at Selhurst Park, but Palace can certainly afford to look at him as a utility squad player, with Kelly and Ward already doing a decent job at right-back.

Furthermore, with Manquillo’s contract at Tyneside set to expire in 2020, Crystal Palace would be well within their rights to try and negotiate a cut-price deal to bring him to the club when the transfer window reopens in January. 

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Suffice to say, Javier Manquillo to Crystal Palace on a cut-price deal in January looks like a fair settlement for all parties involved.