Newcastle United are set to rival the newly promoted clubs to the Premier League in Fulham, Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion for Oxford United ace Rob Dickie, according to the Sunday Mirror (via The Chronicle).
As per the outlet, the three promoted teams from the EFL Championship have put him on their shortlist as a possible transfer target for the summer window.
The central defender is currently valued at £3 million and has now entered into the final year of his current deal.
Indeed, Dickie enjoyed a fine 2019/20 season with Oxford, playing in a total of 49 games in all competitions, scoring one goal and making a further four assists (per Transfermarkt).
However, the campaign ended in heartbreak for the club’s captain as his team lost out 2-1 to Wycombe Wanderers at Wembley Stadium in the League One play-off final, after an equaliser from Mark Sykes to cancel out an Anthony Stewart opener was scored in vein as Joe Jacobsen netted the winner for the Chairboys from the penalty spot (via BBC).
It has left Dickie contemplating as to whether he would like to play another term in League One with just a year left remaining on his current contract or make the big step up to the top flight.
Comparing his stats to Fabian Schar, Federico Fernandez and Jamaal Lascelles in their respective domestic leagues last season, Dickie averaged more interceptions (2.4), shots (1.1), key passes (0.4) and long balls (4.5) per league game, according to Whoscored.
Does Dickie start for Newcastle?
Yes, there is a difference in quality between the two leagues, but the England international, who has three caps at youth level, has thrived in some key areas for a central defender.
At just 24 years of age, Dickie arguably still has a lot of time to develop and adapt to the demands of England’s highest division.
Nevertheless, Steve Bruce will have to fight off the competition in the market to sign the centre-back.
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