Newcastle United supporters have been pretty downbeat in the Transfer Tavern in the last few days after seeing their team suffer a third successive Premier League defeat at the hands of Watford on Saturday.
Rafa Benitez’s men went into their meeting with the Hornets off the back of losses against West Brom and Everton, results which have stunted their momentum somewhat after a run of four straight victories. And the North East giants were unable to get back to winning ways last time out as well as early goals from Roberto Pereyra and Andre Gray set the hosts on their way to all three points, and although Ayoze Perez got one back after the break, it wasn’t enough to prevent the Magpies from suffering a 17th league defeat of the campaign.
Subsequently, there have been many disappointed Newcastle fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are hoping their side can bounce back when they travel to Champions League-chasing Tottenham on Wednesday night.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Magpies supporters to discuss, not least recent reports linking their club with a move for Stoke City midfielder Joe Allen.
And while the Wales international would likely be a good addition to Benitez’s squad, they should forget about him and instead focus on trying to lure his £16.2 million-rated Stoke teammate Xherdan Shaqiri (as per Transfermarkt) to St James’ Park.
Ultimately, while 28-year-old Allen has certainly proven his worth at top-flight level in the last few years at Swansea City, Liverpool, and indeed Stoke, Newcastle are well-stocked in the central midfield department.
The likes of Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden, and Mo Diame have all impressed at times this term, with the latter in particular improving drastically after an unconvincing first half of the campaign – add in Mikel Merino, and Benitez has plenty to choose from.
Thus, they arguably don’t need another central midfielder to improve their ranks, whereas it’s evident from their goal-scoring struggles that further reinforcements are needed in attack, with Shaqiri exactly the sort of player they should seek to land.
The Switzerland international may well have been part of a Potters team relegated this season, but the attacker has actually enjoyed his best campaign to date at the bet365 Stadium with eight goals and six assists in 35 Premier League appearances.
Significantly, Shaqiri is one of those forwards able to conjure something up out of nothing, be it over a set piece or indeed in open play – his long-range shooting and eye for a pass in particular could be huge assets to Benitez’s side.
Yes, the Magpies have done well to avoid the drop this term, but having scored just 36 goals in 36 games this time round, they will have to improve going forward if they are to move to the next level next season.
And Shaqiri’s arrival would do just that, whether it’s creating chances from out wide or indeed scoring key goals himself – he has done both for Paul Lambert’s side this season.
Thus, while Allen’s arrival would somewhat bolster the midfield ranks, Newcastle should forget about him and instead seek to land Stoke teammate Shaqiri instead.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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