Newcastle United supporters have been somewhat quieter in the Transfer Tavern in the last few weeks after seeing their team’s four-match winning run in the Premier League succeeded by three straight defeats.
Rafa Benitez’s men beat Arsenal, Leicester City, Huddersfield Town, and Southampton between March and April to all but secure their place in the top-flight for next season, yet they have since that fine 2-1 success over the Gunners failed to pick up a point. The Magpies went down 1-0 at Everton back on April 23 before succumbing to bottom club West Brom by the same scoreline five days later, and they suffered a third defeat on the spin on Saturday as well in going down 2-1 to Javi Gracia’s Watford, who in turn sealed their top-tier status.
Consequently, there have been several frustrated Newcastle supporters in the Tavern in recent times, many of whom are hoping their side can bounce back and finish the season strongly, with games against Tottenham and Chelsea to come between now and the campaign’s end.
Yet several of our resident Magpies fans are already looking ahead to the summer and what business their team may seek to do, with many looking at Nathaniel Clyne’s current situation at Liverpool with particular intrigue.
And with the £18 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) having difficulty regaining his place in Jurgen Klopp’s team after injury, the Magpies must seek to make an ambitious move for the right back if they harbour European ambitions next season.
Ultimately, England international Clyne suffered a back injury during pre-season and has subsequently missed a huge chunk of the current campaign, only returning for Liverpool in their Merseyside derby draw with Everton last month.
And while many may have thought that Clyne would easily return to the starting eleven upon return from injury, the opposite has happened such have been Trent Alexander-Arnold’s efforts in his absence, with the 19-year-old certainly proving his capabilities as a full back in Klopp’s side.
And given the youngster has been so impressive, not least in their Champions League run to the final, alongside Clyne’s ultimately sluggish return from injury in the last few weeks, it’s plausible that the 27-year-old might not head into the 2018/19 campaign as Klopp’s number one right back.
And for a player of his quality, and someone very much in international contention when fully fit, he’ll want to be playing regularly, and Benitez’s Newcastle can almost certainly offer him that.
DeAndre Yedlin has performed solidly at right back for the Magpies this term, but it has been widely acknowledged by many in the Tavern that, if the North East heavyweights are to challenge for Europe next season, they have to bolster their full back ranks – Clyne’s arrival would do just that.
Defensively, the 27-year-old is extremely solid and reads danger very well, while he also has the dynamism to get forward and help out in attack – quite simply, he is a better all round right back than Yedlin.
And these are the calibre of signings Benitez and indeed Newcastle fans will be hoping their side can make this summer – they have been excellent in achieving Premier League status this term, and while there are some quality players in the current squad, it needs improving if they are to reach the next level.
And landing Clyne is the sort of ambitious addition they must seek this summer if they are to propel themselves into European contention.
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