Newcastle have three top center backs in Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson.
Jan Vertonghen – Newcastle’s top target
But we have suffered in the games since Chelsea, when we lost Steven Taylor for the season, with being without either one or two central defenders in the side.
In particular we suffered defeats against West Brom and Norwich simply because of that.
Mike Williamson is now back in the side after four months out, and the 28 year-old was very solid on Monday afternoon at Bolton, to his great credit, and Newcastle were able to keep their 6th clean sheet of the season in getting a valuable 2-0 win.
It wasn’t a great game and until Newcastle scored their first goal – a beauty from Ben Arfa – the game could have gone either way.
But the transfer season opens on Sunday and Newcastle’s number one target is another top center-back, so we are not embarrassed again by by not being able to field two center-backs in those positions.
The news is that Newcastle have already officially inquired about Ajax’s Jan Vertonghen and put in a £2.5M bid for West Ham’s 22 year-old James Tomkins, which was turned down about 10 days ago by Sam Allardyce.
Newcastle also need another top striker, and were ready to bring in Modibo Maiga from French club Sochaux early next week, but the lad failed his medical and the deal is now dead in the water.
Whether Newcastle can bring in another striker next month is a good question, but it seems the priority is now with a central defender.
It seems that Newcastle’s top target is Vertonghen, a 24-year-old 6’3″ Belgium international, who is at Ajax, and it’s believed Chief Scout Graham Carr is a big admirer, but the Belgium will not come cheap.
Both Arsenal and Tottenham may also be interested, but Newcastle’s need could be greater than that of the two London sides, and it could take up to £10M to secure his transfer.
Jan joined Ajax back in 2003 as a 16 year-old from Belgium club Germinal Beerschot, and has played 201 times for the Dutch giants with 23 goals, and he has played 35 times with two goals for Belgium.
If Newcastle cannot get Vertonghen through the door James Tompkins is thought to be the next in line, and certainly he is a very good center-back who will only get better in the Premier League.
It’s difficult to bring players through the door in January, simply because it’s half way through the season and teams don’t want to lose their best players, but Newcastle must bring in at least one central defender in January.
Either one of Vertonghen or Tomkins would be good, and will give Newcastle what they have needed all along – four good central defenders.
But whether we can also get a suitable striker through the door next month is a good questions, but we doubt it.
At the minimum, we’d be happy with Newcastle signing a top central defender next month, and who knows, Newcastle may go on a good run of results again.
That’s what we are hoping for.