According to journalist Liam Kennedy (via GIVEMESPORT), Newcastle United are ‘really interested’ in signing Bournemouth defender Lloyd Kelly in the January transfer window, which would see the player reunite with his former manager Eddie Howe.
The Lowdown: Newcastle need defensive options
Newcastle sit in a dangerous position in the Premier League having won just one match all season. The Magpies are on equal points with last-place Norwich, who have accumulated a meagre 11 points from 19 games played.
Whilst Eddie Howe’s men have scored 19 goals this season, they have conceded 42 times, averaging 2.21 per game. This highlights the severity of the defensive situation, with one clean sheet all season a worrying sight for the new owners.
The Latest: Newcastle interested in Kelly
After impressing at his boyhood club Bristol City, Howe sanctioned a move for Kelly which saw the defender join Bournemouth in the summer of 2019 for a fee of £13.3m.
Since being relegated to the Championship, the 23-year-old has gone from strength to strength, proving to be a crucial player for the Cherries. As a result, he has been linked with various clubs, including Premier League giants Liverpool.
However, according to Kennedy, Newcastle are ‘really interested’ in signing Kelly in the upcoming transfer window. Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, he claimed that this would be an expensive deal for the Magpies to pull off due to Bournemouth’s promotion push.
He said: “Lloyd Kelly is one that they’re really interested in. Of course, Eddie Howe knows the player reasonably well. Has done a fantastic job. But again, circumstance suggests, I think they paid between £12 and £14 million for him.
“You’d think that would be a really expensive deal to do at a key point in Bournemouth’s season as well, where they’re fighting to get promoted back to the Premier League. That might be a tough deal to do.”
The Verdict: Would be a good addition
With Newcastle’s poor defensive record this season, it is imperative that the club seeks to bring in some defenders to bolster their options at the back for the second half of the season.
Kelly would be a fine addition for the Magpies, as he could provide a level of stability at the back. He currently averages 4.9 clearances per game – second only to Steve Cook at Bournemouth and Jamaal Lascelles at St James’ Park – so this ability could be quite useful for Howe.
The 23-year-old has received huge praise over the past few seasons, with former Cherries boss Jonathan Woodgate labelling him a ‘Rolls-Royce’. Based on that comment and the aforementioned statistic, Newcastle could do a lot worse than luring Kelly to Tyneside as they seek to retain their Premier League status.
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