Newcastle United Tipped To Recruit This Aston Villa Midfielder: What Will He Add To Bruce’s Side?

Newcastle United tipped to recruit Hourihane who is seen in the photo
EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or live services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Mandatory Credit: Photo by James Marsh/BPI/Shutterstock 11801838am Conor Hourihane of Swansea City. AFC Bournemouth v Swansea City, EFL Sky Bet Championship, Football, The Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth, UK - 16 Mar 2021 AFC Bournemouth v Swansea City, EFL Sky Bet Championship, Football, The Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth, UK - 16 Mar 2021 EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or live services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTXHUNxGRExMLTxCYPxROMxBULxUAExKSAxONLY Copyright: xJamesxMarsh/BPI/Shutterstockx 11801838am

In a recent interview with Football Insider, former Premier League striker Gabriel Agbonlahor tipped Newcastle United to recruit Aston Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane this summer. Agbonlahor said,

“I think he’ll definitely have offers.

“It depends what he wants to do. I think he’ll come back for pre-season, speak with the manager and take it from there.

“If he was to leave, he’d definitely have offers and there would be Premier League clubs after him.

“You look at the likes of Brentford, Newcastle. Steve Bruce knows him well. You look at Norwich Watford, the teams that have come up. They would love to have him in their team.

“He won’t be short of offers. I just hope he gets the move that’s right for him.”

Hourihane’s Recent Loan Spell At The Liberty Stadium

Hourihane has recently experienced a fruitful loan spell with Swansea City as he managed to fill in as a decent goal-scoring midfielder for them last season. The 30-year-old made 24 appearances for the Swans in the previous campaign, scoring five goals and securing two assists across multiple competitions.

The Cork-born sensation deserves credit for influencing the game at both ends of the field after he averaged 1.0 tackles, 0.6 interceptions, 0.8 clearances, 1.0 shots and 0.9 key passes per 90 minutes in the EFL Championship. He has even distributed the ball relatively well out from midfield after completing 78.6% of his attempted passes in the English second division (stats via whoscored).

Newcastle United tipped to recruit Hourihane who is seen in the photo
Conor Hourihane of Swansea City in action during the EFL Sky Bet Championship match between Luton Town and Swansea City at Kenilworth Road, Luton, England on 13 March 2021. PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK Copyright: xKenxSparksx 28430119

What Will Hourihane Add To Steve Bruce’s Side?

Hourihane doesn’t mind working his socks off and leaving everything on the field for the benefit of his team. When the ex-Sunderland youth player is playing with confidence, he can chip in with some important goals and assists in the opposition half. The 26-time Republic of Ireland international can also provide decent protection for his teammates at the back which makes him useful as an anchorman at the centre of the park.

However, Hourihane is yet to prove his worth at the highest level, so there are some concerns over whether he will be good enough to feature for the Magpies in the Premier League week in week out if Bruce can find a way to bring him to St. James’ Park in this off-season. Even then, Hourihane’s work rate and ability to play both as a holding midfielder or as an attacking midfielder could make him a useful presence in the Magpies squad.

At 30, Hourihane is a player on the decline and won’t add too much long-term value to Newcastle. However, we can expect him to add some depth to Bruce’s midfield department. The Magpies boss has often relied on hard-working players like Sean Longstaff, Miguel Almiron and Isaac Hayden to provide energy in his midfield. Hence, Hourihane should fit in well at the Tyneside club as he will strengthen Bruce’s bench considerably in the coming seasons.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.