A bitter pill to swallow, but Daniel Sturridge has now officially joined West Brom for the remainder of the season – and the Daily Mail’s Craig Hope and the Chronicle’s Lee Ryder have since shed some light on his potential move to NUFC, explaining just why Benitez was left so ‘furious’ to have missed out.
As it turns out, it sounds like a deal for Sturridge was actually all agreed by the club, but instead it was he who let down Benitez at the 11th hour.
As revealed in both the Mail and the Chronicle last night, NUFC officials were expecting the striker to travel to Tyneside yesterday lunchtime to undergoing a medical after a loan fee and player wages were all agreed.
Benitez is also understood to have spoken with him personally, with the Mail suggesting that discussions over a deal becoming permanent in the summer had even been discussed.
It was all going smoothly, however both Ryder and Hope revealed that Sturridge did not turn up at the Benton training ground, despite an arrangement being in place between the player and NUFC that he would attend.
Instead, West Brom stepped in and convinced him to think again, with it then being claimed that he opted for a move to the Midlands for ‘family reasons’.
Here’s what Sturridge said in his first interview as a West Brom player, with him explaining how Pardew’s side felt like ‘the right fit’ for him in the end (despite all but agreeing a move to the North East just hours before):
“This felt like the right fit. I’ve got friends here I’ve played with before, the manager spoke very well, the challenge with the team and the style of play. I just felt this was the right fit for me.”
? "This is the right fit."@DanielSturridge is glad to be a Baggie.
— West Bromwich Albion (@WBA) January 29, 2018
So, it looks like NUFC actually had this one all but agreed, but it was actually Sturridge who scuppered our chances ,with him failing to arrive for a medical as planned. A shame, but it says a lot about the state we’re currently in if West Brom and Alan Pardew can turn his head so quickly!
This is not to say that the board aren’t to blame in any of this, with this being a perfect example of the sort of thing that can happen if you leave such important deals to the last minute in such a competitive market.
Desperate times for Newcastle now – the clock’s ticking and this all feels far too familiar.