The January window fast approaching and Rafa Benitez is believed to have identified a new left-back as one of several priorities targets – and The Chronicle have revealed five left-backs on his radar ahead of the upcoming window.
Here’s the five players mentioned in the report, along with the comments they’ve made on Benitez’s interest and the likelihood of a deal taking place:
‘Shaw has been told he has no future at Manchester United by Jose Mourinho and they are keen to cash in on the England international in January.
‘Fenerbahce were keen to take him on loan but Shaw is reluctant to leave England.
‘Reports this morning have linked Newcastle and Everton with a move for the 22-year-old, who still has plenty of time ahead of him to rejuvenate his career.’
Our verdict – A typical sort of player Rafa could go for; a good young talent who needs a move to revitalise his career. It’s still an ambitious target, and may only be possible financially if a takeover occurs, but I’d be all for a loan deal with an option to buy if that is something we could pull off.
‘Newcastle were linked with the Scotland international in the summer but he opted to join Liverpool instead.
‘Since then, he has made just three starts for the Reds and has struggled to usurp Alberto Moreno from the left-back slot.
‘He spoke about his frustration at his lack of game-time while on international duty and has held talks about his future with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
‘Should Robertson’s lack of opportunity continue, Newcastle could look to swoop with a January loan move for the 23-year-old.’
Our verdict – A promising young attacking left-back who impressed me at Hull despite their relegation last season. Definitely worth a look should he be made available after failing to earn much game time since arriving at Anfield over the summer.
‘The Bristol City left-back was tentatively linked with Newcastle in the summer and has been in impressive form for Bristol City this term.
‘Byran scored a stunning goal in the Robins’ Carabao Cup win over Crystal Palace last month and has been a vital part of Lee Johnson’s side that currently sit fourth in the Championship table.
‘In comparison to other left-back targets, the 24-year-old could be the best cost-effective option.’
Our verdict – He’s been superb in the Championship and could be one worth taking a risk on, although this one looks like a deal we’d look to do if we were on a budget this winter. Wouldn’t be my first choice given we need some more proven, first team ready players.
‘The Argentinian international was another linked with Newcastle in the summer.
‘The 25-year-old plays for Independiente and reports from South America were suggesting that a bid of £5 million would have been enough to prize him away from the club in the summer.
‘While it would be a risk to buy a defender with no experience of European football, should United be able to get him for as low as £5 million, then it may be a risk worth taking.’
Our verdict – The fee being suggested seems an incredibly reasonable one, with Tagliafico being an Argentine international and one who’s rated as one of the best full back’s in his country. He could well be worth taking a risk on if Rafa is working on a limited budget this winter, with the 25-year old rated so highly in Argentina; known for his pace, technique and stamina – also captaining his club.
‘Targett was the subject of a deadline day loan move that failed to materialise.
‘United could return for the 22-year-old in January, as Benitez is a fan, but his lack of game-time for the Saints this term is a concern.
‘He has failed to make a single Premier League appearance this season and any move now could be seen as a backward step by the Magpies.’
Our verdict – From what I’ve been told from Southampton fans I know, us missing out on him on deadline day was a blessing in disguise. He has had several injury issues and I’m not convinced from what I’ve heard and seen that he’d be much better than what we currently have.
Let us know your thoughts folks – anyone here you particularly like the look of?