Newcastle In For Long Term Center-Back Target

In January of 2102 Newcastle were first linked with 6’4″ center-back Lewis Dunk of Brighton & Hove Albion, his home town club, and Newcastle continued that interest in Dunk, and even last October we were linked with the central defender.

The Mirror is now reporting that Newcastle are again interested in the defender, who is now 23 year-old and played 44 times for Brighton last season with 7 goals and 2 assists.

Lewis Dunk _20120804

23 year-old Lewis Dunk – interested in defender since 2012

We’ve noticed when Graham Carr scouts a player he doesn’t give up on them if he believes they are still right for Newcastle, so it may not be too surprising that we are still in for Dunk, who has played 111 times for Brighton since he made his debut back in April of 2010 in the 0–0 draw at Milton Keynes Dons.

At the time Lewis was just 18.

Last October then Brighton manager Sami Hyypia said this about Dunk when told of possible Newcastle interest:

“I’m very happy that he is playing well and he has been a very important player for us.”  “I would be surprised if the interest wasn’t there, but I hope he stays here and keeps playing like he’s playing. It’s very important you keep your best players.”

“I know it’s not always easy to do that and the players sometimes have different ideas or goals they want to achieve, but we are trying to do everything we can to keep the best players here.”

Dunk certainly fits the bill for players Newcastle like to sign – and he’s at the right age and looks a very promising player, who will only get better if Newcastle sign him.

It just so happens that Steve McClaren has also been interested in the big central defender while he was at Derby County, and perhaps there’s been a meeting of the minds  between Graham Carr and Steve McClaren.

That could mean Newcastle will make a determined attempt to sign the tall 23 year-old.

Former Newcastle manager Chris Hughton took over from Hyypia at the end of last year, and he did a good job of tightening the Brighton defense and they conceded only 54 goals in spite of finishing 5th bottom of the league table.

That was the 5th best goals against record of the 24 teams in the Championship last season, so if only Chris Hughton can get them scoring some goals next season they may be in business.

Lewis was a major figure in Brighton’s defense last season and valued at around £5M and may be the young center-back that Newcastle need to sign this summer.

We would prefer that Newcastle go after our center-back target of last summer – 23 year-old Dutch U21 International Virgil van Dijk. – and it could be that Lewis Dunk is a cheaper alternative to Virgil.

The Dutch International could cost as much as £10M from Celtic.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Note: We’ve had a couple of hot days in Raleigh – yesterday it was 98 degrees and today we topped 100 degrees.