One of the weakest areas we have at Newcastle is at center-back and that has been true over the last couple of years.
Newcastle did bring in Chancel Mbemba from Anderlecht in January and he’s settling in quite well even though our defense has looked terrible this season and we have already conceded 30 goals in the first 14 games including eight in the last two sorry displays against Leicester and Crystal Palace.
Newcastle were very keen on Schalke center-back Joel Matip in the summer and the fee for him at that time was around £10M.
Joel Matip – target for Newcastle in January?
Schalke still want to keep him in Germany, but so far they have not been able to agree to a new deal with his agents and he is due to become a free agent next summer.
That should reduce the transfer fee some in January and he would seem to be an excellent target for us.
Joel is 6’4″ tall and a good physical player in the tough Bundesliga and would seem to be well suited to English football.
However, there’s news in the local press that Steve McClaren wants to bring in British players who have played in the Premier League and that could mean we will not go for Joel this January.
But things can change in the next four weeks before January rolls around and we have five crucial games before the end of the year – when we will have played half a season – 19 games.
We had 26 points at the end of last year after 19 games, but if we win all five games left this year we will still have less than that – 25 maximum – which shows you just how serious our position is right now.
The transfer targets could still change by January – but we’d be happy enough to see Joel be drafted in during the winter transfer window.
The 24 year-old has played 26 times for Cameroon and 236 times for Schalke with 22 goals and 12 assists – the only club he has ever played for.
What do you think?