Newcastle United supporters have been in fine voice in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their team pick up a fourth consecutive Premier League victory courtesy of a 2-1 success over Arsenal on Sunday.
Rafa Benitez’s men went into their encounter with the North London giants off the back of victories over Leicester City, Huddersfield Town, and Southampton, results which have all but sealed their place in the top-flight for next season. And if they didn’t, Sunday’s win over the Gunners certainly has as goals from Ayoze Perez and Matt Ritchie following Alexandre Lacazette’s opener moved Benitez’s team to 41 points for the campaign, leaving them 12 points clear of danger with just five matches of the season remaining.
As such, there have been many buoyant Magpies supporters in the Tavern in the last couple of days, several of whom are already planning ahead for next season in the Premier League, with their side needing just one point from their final four games to guarantee survival.
In the meantime though, there has been plenty for our resident Newcastle fans to get their teeth into, not least recent reports suggesting that Arsenal are considering offloading defender Shkodran Mustafi this summer.
And with the Magpies eyeing up the next level under Benitez next term, they should seek to land the £25.2 million-rated centre-back (as per Transfermarkt) this summer, as he would provide the perfect partner for captain Jamaal Lascelles.
Ultimately, the Newcastle ace has been absolutely outstanding in helping the Magpies preserve their Premier League status this season, appearing in 28 of their 33 Premier League games this term, and missing the other five only as a result of injury.
Be it last-ditch clearances and blocks in his own box to bagging crucial goals at the other, the 24-year-old has brilliantly led by example this season, but some feel that further quality reinforcements are needed throughout the squad to take Newcastle to the next level under Benitez next time round.
And that is where Mustafi comes in.
Yes, the 26-year-old hasn’t always convinced since his big money move to Arsenal back in the summer of 2016, but it’s evident that there is genuine ability in the Germany international, especially in possession with the ball at his feet.
Remember, the Gunners were unbeaten with the centre-back in the side for 22 games from the start of last season to January 2017, which itself is indicative of the influence the German had on the Arsenal back four, even if that hasn’t necessarily been there in recent times.
Nonetheless, with a clear ability to play his way out of trouble and a calmness and composure on the ball and under pressure, Mustafi would certainly complement Lascelles at the heart of the Magpies backline, with the latter much stronger aerially and authorative in organising a backline – they would surely form quite the partnership.
And with Arsenal reportedly willing to let the 26-year-old go this summer, Newcastle must seek to lure him to St James’ Park during the close season.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!