Newcastle United supporters have been in fine voice in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their team end the 2017/18 season with an impressive 3-0 victory over last year’s Premier League champions Chelsea on Sunday.
A brace from Ayoze Perez following Dwight Gayle’s opener secured a comprehensive success for Rafa Benitez’s men at St James’ Park, thus clinching the Magpies a top-half finish in the Premier League upon their return after winning the Championship the previous season. And while several of our resident Newcastle supporters have been in high spirits this week, attentions are very much turning towards the summer transfer window, and thus what business their team may seek to conduct.
Yet one man could well be on his way out of the North East giants during the close season, with recent reports suggesting that defender Jamaal Lascelles is a ‘priority’ signing for Antonio Conte’s Chelsea.
And were the 24-year-old to indeed leave the club this summer, Newcastle simply must seek to replace him with £13.5 million-rated star Jonny Evans (as per Transfermarkt).
Ultimately, Lascelles has played as big a part as any in keeping the Magpies in the top-flight this term, having appeared in 33 of their 38 Premier League games this time round, missing the other five only because of injury.
The centre-back has led by example brilliantly this season and would undoubtedly be a huge loss were he to leave for Stamford Bridge, yet the experienced Evans could certainly go some way to filling the void.
The 30-year-old may well have been part of a West Brom side relegated from the Premier League this time round, but the Northern Ireland international has certainly been a bright spark in a desperately miserable campaign for the Baggies.
Be it showing composure and calmness on the ball to going toe-to-toe with some of the best attackers in the league, the centre-back has once again proven his worth and indeed his credentials – after all, it wasn’t too long ago that both Arsenal and Manchester City were interested in the defender.
That itself underlines Evans’ lofty capabilities at top-flight level, and that shouldn’t be tarnished by West Brom’s ultimately disastrous campaign this time round – other factors were at play in relegating the Midlands outfit.
And with Evans reportedly available for just £3 million this summer as per a relegation clause, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley wouldn’t have to splash the cash to lure the 30-year-old to St James’, yet at the same time would be landing a hugely influential and adept Premier League centre-half.
Yes, Newcastle won’t want to lose Lascelles this summer after his outstanding season this time round, but were that to indeed happen, they could do a lot worse than target Evans as his replacement.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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