Liverpool

Liverpool’s £22.5m-rated playmaker would be Newcastle’s perfect replacement for Ayoze Perez

The Newcastle United supporters have been in fine spirits in the Transfer Tavern this week after their side recorded a priceless 3-0 victory over their fellow relegation-rivals Southampton at St James’ Park. 

Rafa Benitez’s side climbed into 13th place and increased the gap between themselves and the relegation zone to 5 points with their win, and the Toon Army propping up our bar now believe they have a fantastic chance of securing their top-flight status this season. Kenedy and Jonjo Shelvey were the stars of the show for The Magpies as they grabbed a pair of goals and assists respectively, but the performance of Ayoze Perez was a bright spark also worth noting.

Perez did brilliantly to storm down the centre of the pitch before intelligently playing the ball to Dwight Gayle at the right moment before Kenedy tapped home Newcastle’s second goal of the game, and his willingness to work hard and support Gayle throughout the game enabled his side to threaten Southampton’s defence all afternoon. However, it must be considered that Newcastle were playing against a dysfunctional team, so Perez’s contribution must not be overstated.

Throughout the season so far Perez has been entrusted by Benitez to undertake the number 10 role behind the striker, and it’s fair to say he has worked his socks off to repay his managers faith. But aside from hard-work, Perez offers very little to the team, as he is clearly lacking the creative qualities that are needed to prise open defences in the top-flight.

With that being said, Newcastle should consider signing a new number ten player to replace Perez in the summer, and one player who should certainly be on their radar is Liverpool’s Adam Lallana (valued at £22.5 million by Transfermarkt). Lallana has desperately struggled with a handful of injury problems in the past year – mostly relating to his hamstring – and as such he has made only 3 starts for The Reds all season.

And according to The Sun, Lallana has recently suffered yet another setback in his recovery from injury, and he will miss England’s international friendlies as a consequence. His inability to stay fit will certainly be a concern for Jurgen Klopp, and he might just be willing to sell him this summer due to his injury proneness.

If that proves to be the case, then Benitez should do everything he can to bring Lallana to St James’ Park, despite his recent record with injury. Injuries are something of a lottery at times, so he cannot be written off purely because of a short-term struggle. It would undoubtedly be a risk for Newcastle to sign him, so they should consider bringing him to the club on a loan deal with an option to buy at the end of the season.

Signing a player of Lallana’s quality would significantly boost Newcastle’s chanes of staying well clear of a relegation battle next season, and considering Perez’s glaring shortcomings as a Premier League number ten, Benitez would be foolish not to make a bid for his services in the summer.

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