Newcastle United supporters remain very buoyant in the Transfer Tavern over a week on from their team’s sensational 1-0 victory over Manchester United in the Premier League, a result which moved them out of the division’s bottom three.
Rafa Benitez’s men slipped into the danger zone just prior to their kick-off against Jose Mourinho’s United following Huddersfield Town’s 4-1 success over Bournemouth earlier in the day, yet the Magpies showed no signs of pressure with a magnificent display at St James’ Park. Matt Ritchie’s strike midway through the second half was enough to clinch all three points for Benitez’s side, moving them up to 13th in the Premier League table with just 11 matches of the campaign remaining.
Consequently, there have been many delighted Newcastle fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are hoping that the win over the Red Devils can be the catalyst for a run of form which puts any lingering relegation fears to bed once and for all.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Magpies supporters to discuss, not least recent reports that Everton have joined their side in the race for Galatasaray wing wizard Garry Rodrigues.
Yet the North East giants simply have to fend off the competition and land the £3.6 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) in the summer, as it’s clear that more attacking options are needed in that Newcastle team if they remain in the Premier League next season.
Ultimately, the Magpies have bagged just 25 goals in their 27 league games so far this season, a tally that will need significantly increasing between now and May to keep them in the league, and then bettering next term if they remain in the top tier.
And when centre-back Jamaal Lascelles is the second highest goal-scorer with just three goals, behind Joselu with four, it’s clear that the attacking options just aren’t delivering the goods.
Between Christian Atsu, Matt Ritchie, Ayoze Perez, and Dwight Gayle, all four of whom are reasonably regular starters for Benitez, they have managed just eight goals between them all season – that’s simply not good enough.
They may well get away with it this term and indeed remain in the top-flight, but those ranks will need significant improvement over the summer. And Rodrigues’ arrival would do just that.
The 27-year-old possesses the sort of pace and dynamism that Newcastle have at times been lacking this season, while five goals and seven assists for Galatasaray this term is indicative of a winger who can turn that potential into meaningful contributions.
And with there doubts over whether Kenedy’s move will be made permanent in the summer, they simply must bolster their attacking ranks, and ultimately improve the squad – standing still and expecting everything to be fine again is simply not an option.
From Rodrigues’ point of view, he is also more likely to get regular football at St James’ Park as opposed to Goodison Park, what with Everton possessing the likes of Theo Walcott and Yannick Bolasie in their wing department, both of whom have been hugely influential for the Toffees.
Add in Newcastle’s clear need to bring in attacking reinforcements in the summer, and the North East giants simply must fend off the Merseysiders to land Rodrigues in the close season.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!