In this instalment of our TT Roundup, Football Transfer Tavern have gathered three of the biggest stories to have involved Newcastle United recently and have provided our thoughts on the reports published.
Noel Whelan tips Dwight Gayle to join Leeds
BBC Sport pundit Noel Whelan has tipped Dwight Gayle to join his former side Leeds on loan from Newcastle United in January, as the Whites could struggle to secure promotion without the arrival of a new centre-forward.
Gayle scored 24 goals in 40 Championship games for West Bromwich Albion while on loan at the Hawthorns last season (TransferMarkt), with his efforts helping the Baggies reach the Play-Off Semi-Finals, where eventual winners Aston Villa would beat them.
Leeds have struggled in front of goal this term, as while no second-tier side have fashioned more shots than Marcelo Bielsa’s men (183), the Elland Road outfit also lead the division for shots missed (81) and have converted just 15 of their 56 on-target efforts, per WhoScored data ahead of this weekend’s fixtures.
Whelan feels Gayle would be the “perfect” short-term option to help resolve his former side’s slack form come January, but fears Leeds will need to secure further investment following owner Andrea Radrizzani telling The Times he is considering an offer from Qatar for a stake in the West Yorkshire outfit.
“What Leeds need is investment, not just for the Premier League, but for the January window,” Whelan told Football Insider. “[Radrizzani] should be looking to get a loan or some cash front-loaded for January. There is no guarantee we are going to go up.
“Do a deal now and get some money in. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount, just enough to immediately improve the team. I’m thinking a loan deal for someone like Dwight Gayle. He’d be perfect for us, a proven striker who could well be available and who has a brilliant record in the Championship.
“I can see him joining. We would just have to match his Newcastle wages, which Leeds probably wouldn’t be able to afford without new investment. That’s the reality.”
Newcastle are yet to see if Gayle can offer them something up front under Steve Bruce, as the London-born striker is yet to make his season debut after suffering a series of setbacks in his recovery from a calf injury picked up during the Magpies’ pre-season tour of Asia (Chronicle).
The 28-year-old is thought to be nearing a return to fitness, though, as he has begun full training again following a warm-weather camp in Portugal at the end of September.
If Gayle returns to action and can offer Bruce an added threat up front, they will surely have to keep the striker at St. James’ Park despite Whelan tipping him as the perfect option for Leeds.
Should Gayle not offer anything Bruce does not already feel he has in Joelinton or Yoshinori Muto, Newcastle will likely prefer to try and cash in on the forward they valued at £20million in the summer (Northern Echo).
Toon scout Trabzonspor’s Ugurcan Cakir
According to the Northern Echo, Newcastle have told Steve Bruce that he will have funds made available to him in the January transfer window to make reinforcements to his squad, providing they fit the Magpies’ policy of young talents with the potential to develop in ability and market value.
Two names have already emerged from discussions between Bruce, Newcastle’s Head Scout Steve Nickson and Managing Director Lee Charnley, in Trabzonspor goalkeeper Ugurcan Cakir and Queens Park Rangers left-back Ryan Manning.
The Toon are said to be watching Cakir’s situation in Turkey as he is being courted by numerous sides, including Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, following a string of impressive displays in the Super Lig, where he has played each game this season.
Cakir, who made his senior Turkey debut in May, would set Newcastle back £17m, though, which the Northern Echo note would be high given current Magpies number one Martin Dubravka is set to sign a new contract at St. James’ Park.
Manning, meanwhile, is thought to be available for around £3m, and earned Newcastle’s attention after impressing scouts at full-back following a change in position at his Championship side this term.
Cakir would be an expensive addition at £17m if the 23-year-old would only be moving to Tyneside to serve as the number two for Dubravka, who has kept three clean sheets in his eight Premier League outings this term (TransferMarkt).
The Trabzonspor shot-stopper may also be waiting a while for his chance to dislodge the Slovakian between the sticks given Dubravka’s contract negotiations, meaning the lofty investment the Toon would have to make could take a while to payout.
As for a move for Manning, a £3m fee would offer fairly little risk for Newcastle, as the QPR defender has years ahead of him to build his value, and the 23-year-old is showing himself to be one of the better left-back’s in the Championship right now.
Manning has won 2.3 tackles from 2.5 attempts per ninety minutes in the second-tier this season, as well as 1.4 interceptions, 0.8 clearances and 1.4 blocks, per WhoScored data.
Bruce to back Matty Longstaff against Chelsea
According to the Northern Echo, Bruce is set to keep his faith in Matty Longstaff and start the teenage midfielder against Chelsea on Saturday after his goalscoring Premier League debut against Manchester United before the international break.
Bruce is said to have thought long and hard over his central midfield options for the Toon’s trip to Stamford Bridge this weekend, but is ready to back the younger of the Longstaff brothers after his accomplished display against the Red Devils.
Isaac Hayden is set to miss the Chelsea affair as he serves the second game of his three-match ban, while Jonjo Shelvey or Ki Sung-Yueng could be recalled, but Bruce is expected to turn to Longstaff, as he is better suited to the high-energy, high-press system the Magpies boss is after.
Longstaff certainly displayed a confidence in his game during what was his Premier League debut against Manchester United, with the Chronicle noting in their post-game player ratings that he ‘ran his heart out’ and did not take long to get into the mix – things Bruce is seemingly keen to see from his midfielders.
The Rotherham-born youngster did not shy from his responsibilities in possession, either, with Fabian Schar (64) the only Newcastle man to record more touches than the 19-year-old (51) managed, per WhoScored data.
Only Hayden’s average two interceptions per ninety minutes matches Longstaff’s haul against the Red Devils from Newcastle’s central midfield options this league season, as well, with the Toon product also penning a per ninety minute high five accurate long balls.
Dropping the teenager following a display of that nature would be a puzzling decision by Bruce with Hayden still suspended, as Longstaff completed his baptism of fire with great success.
Newcastle fans, does Longstaff start at Chelsea on Saturday? Let us know in the comments below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more Newcastle notifications!