Newcastle have again been linked with Barnsley’s Jacob Butterfield, who will be out of contract in the summer.
Jacob Butterfield - Barnsley’s 21 year-old midfielder
Newcastle were first linked with the 21-year-old midfielder in early January, but the lad is sidelined through the end of the season at least, with a serious cruciate knee ligament injury he suffered in Barnsley’s New Year’s Eve game against Leeds United.
That’s what Dan Gosling was suffering from when Newcastle signed him as a free agent from Everton, and it took Dan a year to overcome the injury which he suffered in late March of 2010 against Wolves, and was signed by Newcastle in the summer of 2010.
Only about 20 years or so ago, these knee injuries used to end football careers so they are serious, but players do now come back from them, with the improved medical facilities available.
Newcastle are always on the look-out for good young talent at a bargain, and Barnsley manager Keith Hill has said the player will likely be leaving the club when his contract expires at the end of June:
“Do I want to keep the best young midfielder in the Championship? Of course I do,” “But this club cannot compete financially with other clubs in this league and we keep losing players.”
“We have offered Jacob a contract but he will receive other offers that are much better financially. I think he will probably leave at the end of the season.”
Butterfield is thought to be one of the top players outside the Premier League, and Middlebrough are also said to be interested in the player, who turns 22 in June, and is just 5 months younger than Gosling.
With Jacob being out injured that could still complicate matters, unless the Magpies 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.
Since Jacob is a youngster, Barnsley would still need to be compensated if he moves within England, because he’s under 24 years-old.
But he could move to a Scottish club for nothing – as Joe Ledley did in the summer of 2010 when he moved to Celtic, and his club Cardiff City received nothing for him.
We wouldn’t be surprised if Newcastle bring this Bradford-born player to Tyneside in the summer.