News today that Newcastle are interested in Barnsley’s midfielder Jacob Butterfield, who is an England U21 International.
Jacob Butterfield – 21 year-old Barnsley midfielder
The Newcastle Journal is reporting this morning that John Carver was at Oakwell on Saturday afternoon, to watch Butterfield play.
The 21 year-old is out of contract at the end of the season adn will become a free agent.
Newcastle may not sign more than one player in January, but we have to remember there will be a lot of checks and planning this month to help identify which players we will go after in the summer.
So some of these reports in January could turn out to be simply identifying summer targets.
But the youngster lasted only 15 minutes on Saturday before picking up a knee injury, but that didn’t stop Barnsley from going on to beat Leeds United 4-1, and they are 16th in the Championship on 33 points.
The Bradford-born youngster fits exactly the type of player Newcastle are trying to recruit, he is young and can improve, but he will now be out at least three weeks with ligament damage.
We’ll keep this lad under review as he comes cheap in the summer as a free agent – if he is good enough for Newcastle.
Butterfield made his debut for Barnsley when he was just 17 and that was in a League Cup tie against Newcastle United in August of 2007, coming on as a substitute in the 2–0 defeat.
The lad is ambitious and he knows that Newcastle, Everton, Stoke and Wolves are interested in him, and he had this to say last week:
“I have always thought I was good enough to play at Premier League level.” “Given the opportunity, I think I could prove that.”
Butterfield is the Barnsley captain and at 21 years of age, he is the youngest ever captain in Barnsley’s long history, since the were founded in 1887 – only just before my time.
If Newcastle are really interested in this player they could get him during the January window for a small fee, and that could happen.
But with him now being out injured that could complicate matters, unless the club have already watched him enough times to know he’s good enough to come to Newcastle.
Since making his debut back in 2007, Jacob has appeared 90 times for Barnsley with 57 starts and 8 goals.
And Jacob got an England U21 call-up for the European Championship Qualification double-header against Iceland and Belgium last November, the same games that Sammy Ameobi played in.
Here’s a goal Jacob scored in training with the England U21 game for those games:
We’ll have to wait and see if Newcastle sign this lad this month – or in the summer.