The punters propping up the bar here in the Transfer Tavern have been loving the FIFA World Cup thus far. Indeed, those who crowd our venue can’t believe they’re watching so many goals fly in and have been impressed with the standard of players all over Russia.
Having said that, a lot of them have looked no further than Belgium, who are heavy favourites at 1/3 on in the 2018 World Cup betting odds to dispatch of Japan on Monday. Roberto Martinez may not be the most fancied of coaches, though few would doubt the fact he boasts one of the very best squads at the tournament. Indeed, that was evident even when facing England, as their second string side edged the Three Lions out 1-0.
The man who scored that day will also be familiar to Premier League fans. Little Adnan Januzaj, who flopped at Sunderland after breaking through at Manchester United, bagged a stunning goal and went some way into reminding fans on these shores of his qualities.
Valued at £10.8m by Transfermarkt, the 23-year-old currently plays for Real Sociedad in La Liga, though surely deserves another chance in the Premier League. He’s certainly a talent and, interestingly enough, his qualities are ready-made for Newcastle United and Rafa Benitez.
Able to create something out of nothing, he’d be a wonderful addition at St. James’ Park. Newcastle, outside of Jonjo Shelvey, lack creativity and a player of Januzaj’s ilk would help on that front.
A player with something to prove, it’s not hard to imagine Benitez coaxing the best out of him. Despite his past with the Black Cats, he’s the kind of player who could potentially excite the St. James’ Park crowd when in full flow, as well as the kind of talent to represent a realistic target on the financial front.