Newcastle United undoubtedly have one of the richest core of midfielders in the Championship and Benitez has worked them together brilliantly with almost all contributing to the team’s cause. From deep lying midfielders like Shelvey and Colback to wide ones like Gouffran and Ritchie, Benitez has had his boys stepping up, whenever it is needed.
However, a constant worry for the boss has been the backup. The suspension of Jonjo Shelvey and absence of Mo Diame had Benitez in quite a fix with the boss struggling to effectively play Hayden and Colback in the middle. Same goes for the wingers too. Except for the ever-reliable Matt Ritchie, Benitez has the Chelsea loanee Christian Atsu on the right wing, who hasn’t had any such impact yet.
The fact that Benitez is going all out to loan in former player Andros Townsend is because of his lack of quality options on the flanks. However, with Allardyce at the helm, who is actually playing Townsend in his preferred position, a move is becoming unlikely as the transfer window is coming to an end.
And according to reports, the Newcastle boss has now turned his eye to Swansea’s unused winger Modou Barrow. The 24-year-old is out of favour at the Liberty Stadium and Newcastle’s failure to find a good backup might conclude with the Gambian international joining the Magpies in the end. He is now believed to be on Rafa Benitez’s wish-list and the move would look quite sensible.
Landing him, however, won’t be an easy task and Steve Bruce is also keen on bringing him to Aston Villa. A move to Villa for Barrow is quite possible because the club is also linked with a possible swap deal with the Swans involving Ghanaian forward Jordan Ayew.
Barrow has appeared 18 times in the league so far and could manage only two assists from the wing. The new manager Paul Clement has pretty much frozen him out of his plans and a move to Championship seems like the only refuge for the talented player.
Barrow had risen through the ranks of Swedish sides Real de Banjul FC, Östers IF, Mjölby AI FF. IFK Norrköping, Varbergs BoIS and Östersunds FK before Swansea bought him in 2014. He had some loan stints at Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers before breaking into the first team in 2015.
The Magpies could now wait to see if Swansea are open to a loan deal until the end of the season but it is also believed that Barrow has a £5million minimum fee release clause that could also be triggered.