Rafa Benitez has cut a frustrating figure this transfer window, as he is struggling to land a few of his top transfer targets this summer. One such player, the Spaniard is desperate for, is Andros Townsend.
The English winger joined Crystal Palace the summer before last, from Newcastle United, after they were relegated. He showed decent form at Selhurst Park and reports suggest that Rafa is ready to do what it takes to land him this summer.
It is reported that Crystal Palace will not let him leave for anything less than £20m. With negotiations looking harder and harder, the Newcastle United manager has now started to look at alternatives. One such name now doing the rounds is Albert Adomah.
Born and brought up in London, the 30-year old announced himself to the English game in his three seasons with Bristol City, where he scored 17 league goals for the side. He moved to Middlesbrough in 2013 and spent three seasons there as well, scoring 23 goals, before Aston Villa came calling in 2016.
He made an immediate impact at Villa Park, picking up 10 assists and three goals and took his game to the next level last season, registering 14 goals and five assists which helped Villa seal a route through to the play-off final. At 30, he is one of the most experienced wingers in the Championship at the moment and a move to the Premier League is long overdue.
Strong, athletic and versatile, Adomah can play as a wing-back or as a natural winger, adding width to the attack. He was used on the left flank in a 4-1-4-1 system, where he constantly showed his pace and dribbling skills on the wing, troubling defenders with his direct approach to the game.
He is an excellent crosser and is also effective in build-up play but what makes him dangerous is his ability to make interceptions at crucial times. He is happy to drop deep and add numbers to the defence and is a complete player, ready for the top flight.
He is 30 which makes him a short-term option. It is hard to see Steve Bruce letting him leave, after such a productive season. However, the financial issues at Villa Park could force Bruce to sell at a cut price, which is exactly what Rafa is waiting for.
Townsend, who is 28, is a superb option and is probably an upgrade on Adomah but if Newcastle United miss out on the Palace man, the Ghana international Adomah will be a decent option to have in the squad.