It seems like Newcastle United’s green patch is finally starting to get over. They have lost their top spot in the Championship, they have fallen dangerously short in options at the middle of the park and the recent blow has been a serious injury to their secondary striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, who is out for weeks now.
Benitez’s weak midfield was quite prominent in their frustrating 1-1 draw against Birmingham City in the FA Cup third round and Benitez is desperate to bring in more reinforcements in that position before the Championship starts again this week. With Jonjo Shelvey serving a five-match ban owing to disciplinary issues and Mohamed Diame away on his national duties, Benitez is facing a serious lack of quality there.
In an interview, Rafa Benitez said, “We were just focusing on the game on Saturday (the visit to Brentford has been brought forward from Monday because of the cup replay). But I will talk with Lee (Charnley, managing director) and see if we can get any movement or good news this week.”
A lot of names have been linked with the Magpies this month. Mitrovic is expected to return in few weeks and Benitez isn’t expected to sweat over that position much. It is the midfielders that Newcastle United have been lately linked with, which includes the likes of Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Nottingham Forest’s Ben Osborn, Fulham’s Tom Cairney and more. And the latest one to be added to that list is Everton’s James McCarthy, as per reports.
The Spanish boss has been hugely applauded for bringing together an efficient squad last summer and he is expected to do the same this time too. At 26, James McCarthy is hugely experienced in English football and it would be hard to imagine him playing in the Championship.
He has 319 appearances total so far. Since joining Wigan Athletic in 2009/10, he has played 223 games which include a brief spell in the Championship in 2013/14. He was also a big part of Wigan’s surprise FA Cup win that year.
Injuries, though, have shortened his appearances this season at Everton, Koeman is often seen opting for him to replace the experienced Gareth Barry in the midfield. A central midfielder by nature, McCarthy can play efficiently in both the defence and the offence.
His ability to hold the ball in the middle is commendable and he has garnered a lot of attention for his tremendous concentration in the game. Undoubtedly, he will be a level up for Newcastle United, but Everton are highly unlikely to part ways with one of their best talents, especially when they have a realistic chance of finishing in the top half of Premier League.
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