Lloyd Kelly – 11 positives and one big concern as Newcastle agree five-year deal

After weeks of talks and suggestions it was edging ever closer, several outlets confirmed this morning that Lloyd Kelly is set to sign a five-year deal at Newcastle United ahead of his medical in the coming days.

The positives far outweigh the negatives for this signing, the first being that he’ll arrive on a free transfer. An under contract Kelly would easily cost over £20m in this day and age, so it’s not only a bargain but a deal that helps us comply with the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR) and also frees up funds for us to spend elsewhere, with a right-winger, striker, goalkeeper and right-sided centre-back also wanted.

Then comes his versatility. He played 41 times at centre-back as he guided Bournemouth to promotion over the 2021/22 season. Since then, just over 50% of his appearances have come at left-back, showing he has become equally comfortable at full-back as he has in the middle.

It’s a valuable trait added to our squad and leads to two more positives. The first is his ability to play as a left-sided centre-back means he’ll be able to fill in for Sven Botman; who could miss the first few months of the 2024/25 season as he recovers from ACL surgery. The second is his profile and ability to play at LCB and LB makes him a long-term replacement for Dan Burn; who is out of contract next summer, 32-years-old and unlikely to play at left-back much longer as he enters the latter years of his career.

Kelly’s age is also ideal. At 25, he has experience and two years of Premier League football under his belt, but also plenty of room the improve. He’s also a player Eddie Howe, Jason Tindall and many members of our coaching staff will know well from their time together at Bournemouth. This will not only help him settle and build early relationships, but also means he’s likely to know a lot of Howe’s demands, making his transition into our team smoother.

Unlike foreign imports, the fact he’s played in the Premier League for a few seasons should also allow him to plug in and play pretty quickly; a helpful factor while Botman remains out. Not only that, we’ve signed a leader, as Kelly has captained the Cherries on several occasions over the past three seasons, wearing the armband for the majority of their promotion campaign and seven times in the Premier League.

One other point to mention is the glowing reviews (read them here) and messages of support we’ve seen from Bournemouth fans following his exit. You don’t see that often when a player opts against signing a new deal, but it says a lot about his quality and character. 

The final two positives cover his style of play and profile. He’s 6ft 3′ tall but will add some much-needed pace to our defence. His athleticism allows him to operate comfortably at left-back and he’s also comfortable in possession, offering us a handy alternative to Lewis Hall when needed.

Then comes the one big negative that is difficult to ignore; his recent injury record; which is a concern and something that needs to improve given the number of issues we had over the 2023/24 campaign.

As the table below shows, he missed 17 games last season due to three separate injuries and had similar issues over the 2022/23 campaign, missing 18 games in total:

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Yes, he’ll arrive on a free and is a relatively low-risk signing in that respect, but he’ll be on big wages – which is always the case when there’s a lack of transfer fee.

As he’ll be taking home a very decent salary, filling in for the injured Botman and stepping into Burn’s squad role in years to come, let’s hope his injury record improves over the coming seasons.


About Olly Hawkins

As a Junior Magpie since birth and season ticket holder, I eat, sleep and breathe all things NUFC! Here at the blog, I aim to bring you news, views, match reports and transfer exclusives as and when I get them.

2 thoughts on “Lloyd Kelly – 11 positives and one big concern as Newcastle agree five-year deal

  1. Seems like the perfect replacement for BDB. Unlikely to oust Sven or Lewis. Hopefully, the wages are sensible for a good squad player


  2. Prem – he’s certainly an immediate replacement for Dummett & more likely to get a game than he was so it’s a strength in depth signing in that sense 👌🏼


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