Having been left out of Roy Hodgson’s England squad, Adam Johnson believes first team football is what he needs to get back in the international scene and who wouldn’t when former team mate and man with worse stat’s than Emile Heskey, Stewart Downing, is picked ahead of you.
Even though it is believed that Manchester City don’t want to sell, The Sun suggests that he will be going to Tottenham Hotspur or heading back to his homeland with either Newcastle United or Sunderland.
Considering the fact that he is a long standing member of the toon army, it’s safe to say we can rule out Sunderland as a possible destination but in order to burst back onto the international scene, like he did in 2010, should Johnson join the team he loved as a boy or fight against them in order to help Spurs retain their top four status?
Before discussing the possibility of a transfer to either club there are certain factors that would need to be addressed before he signs on the dotted line. Due to Adam Johnson’s reported £50,000 a week wage he would need to take a significant cut in order to return to the north-east and although this would be less of a factor in north London, with Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale already in the squad, Johnson would be lacking the playing time he so desperately desires.
For me, Johnson should join Newcastle and accept the lower wages. Right now Newcastle have two of the most gifted central midfielder’s in the league in Yohan Cabaye and Cheikh Tiote as well as Jonas Gutierrez who is wonderful on the wing but lacks the pace needed to give a team that extra dimension. Inject Johnson’s pace and accurate shooting into a team enhanced by Ben Arfa’s creativity and they may well challenge for Champions League football again next season.
If Johnson, like too many footballers, cares more about the money then the post code to White Hart Lane will be saved under work on his sat nav next season. With no Champions League next year, Bale may look elseswhere and if he does Johnson could prove a natural replacement.
Even if Bale stayed Johnson could add depth to the best midfield in the Premier League, something that needs to be addressed after their poor form toward the end of last season, but whether Johnson wants to keep being a squad player is doubtful considering his international ambitions.
Of course if Johnson decides to choose the Stadium of Light he could form a devastating partnership with James McClean. By centring a team’s attack around two winger’s, Martin O’Neil could recreate the kind of success he achieved with Aston Villa, where he used the same tactic.
Wherever Adam Johnson ends up I genuinely hope he can recreate the form that allowed him to shine on the international stage during the Euro 2012 qualifiers and finally give England the naturally talented left footed winger we have so desperately needed for so long.
Even if he didn’t recreate his previous form, at least we can have an alternative to Downing.
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