Newcastle United supporters in the Transfer Tavern are eagerly anticipating their team’s return to Premier League action against Huddersfield Town on Saturday, what with the Magpies going into the clash having lost just one of their last six league matches.
Rafa Benitez’s men were just two points clear of the relegation zone after going down 3-1 to Manchester City back in January, but they have since then won two and drawn three of their six games to move up to 13th place in the table. The North East giants produced a sensational display to edge past Manchester United 1-0 last month, and they then made it back-to-back victories at St James’ Park last time out by easing past fellow relegation contenders Southampton, in turn moving five points clear of the Saints who currently occupy the final relegation place.
As such, there have been many buoyant Newcastle fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are hoping their side can clinch all three points at St James’ Park on Saturday to move further clear of the bottom three.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Magpies fans to discuss, not least recent reports suggesting that manager Benitez is eyeing up a number ten this summer in a bid to bolster his ranks at the club.
Ultimately, the 24-year-old has often been the man just behind the striker in that number ten role for the Magpies this season, but has so far returned with just two goals and three assists from his 28 Premier League appearances.
And while there is little doubt that the Spaniard offers a huge amount defensively as part of the role, he simply isn’t the playmaker Newcastle need in that number ten role to move up the division next season.
And if he isn’t playing that position just behind the frontman, it’s difficult to see where he fits into Benitez’s starting eleven at all, what with the likes of Kenedy, Matt Ritchie, and Christian Atsu doing the business out wide, and a combination of Jonjo Shelvey, Mo Diame, and Isaac Hayden patrolling the midfield just behind.
And the fact that he hasn’t featured greatly in the centre forward role this season, despite Newcastle’s evident problems scoring goals, suggests a lot about how unconvinced Benitez is with him fulfilling that role as well.
Thus, a new number ten during the summer could well see Perez slip out of the first team altogether, although he could stake a claim were he to perform and get some goals between now and the end of the season.
At the moment though, signing a number ten this summer would spell bad news for the 24-year-old.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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