After a disappointing start to the New Year, Newcastle will nervously look behind their shoulders having failed to pick up points in four of their last eight games. The Magpies dominated the stats against Blackburn but failed to find the back of the net against a side who are struggling to get anything cohesive going and are in the relegation zone.
Newcastle have some good strikers but you could argue that they weren’t creative enough as most of the shots they had in the game were non-threatening. Were they hit by Jonjo Shelvey’s absence? Maybe, cause his creativity in the final third might have brought about more clear-cut chances.
With the transfer window open, Newcastle are very likely to strengthen not only keeping the next few months in mind but also the more long-term future. Newcastle are still favourites to qualify and they’ll need proven Premier League players. There has been a lot of talk regarding a transfer move for Everton’s Tom Cleverley who has found game time hard to come by.
The former Manchester United midfielder has started just four games and has had six substitute appearances as new manager Ronald Koeman has preferred the likes of Idrissa Gueye and Gareth Barry, Even James McCarthy, who seemed like an outcast, has gotten the nod ahead of Cleverley.
At 27, Cleverley is approaching his peak years as an athlete and he can’t be just a bench warmer. He has improved since his move to Everton as many deemed him someone who doesn’t take enough risks and plays it safe while he was at Everton. He came out with a statement justifying his ‘Spanish passing style’ and got a lot of stick for it.
Shelvey’s presence in the middle of the park adds a lot to the team. The club doesn’t have another midfielder of the same mould who can switch play with cross-field passes or attempt audacious through passes from the deeper areas. Shelvey’s drive when he goes forward also adds a lot of sting to the attack.
Newcastle do have the likes of Jack Colback and Isaac Hayden, but they don’t have the same skillset. Cleverley’s strongest position is that of a box to box midfielder. His composure on the ball is pretty good and he has the engine to make the late runs into the opposition penalty box.
Signing Cleverley will add good depth to the squad, even though he is not necessarily the same player as Shelvey. He could be a good partner to Shelvey in some of the games and maybe when the club plays in the Premier League as he has much more experience than young Isaac Hayden who can gradually develop in the top flight.
Newcastle are planning a loan move with an option of making it permanent in the summer.
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