One area of the Newcastle team where we need to strengthen is in central midfield and if you take Jonjo Shelvey out of the team, then we don’t seem to have many creative players who can replace him.
If Jonjo does not win his appeal against the FA misconduct charge in about three weeks time, he will be suspended for at least five games and who will replace him in the Newcastle side is a good question.
One player who Newcastle have been linked with for some time now is young Derby County midfielder Will Hughes who is now 21 and he’s been in the Derby first team since the 2011-2012 season.
Will Hughes – 21 year-old Derby flair player
Chief Scout Graham Carr has consistently checked on Will Hughes and it was in the summer of 2013 that we were heavily linked with the then 18 year-old creative midfielder.
Hughes has a contract at Derby that runs until the summer of 2018, but there have been various news reports that perhaps Will is ready to leave the Rams and move to a bigger club.
Hughes was on offer for £10M in the summer of 2013 and that figure has gone up only modestly since then and he is now said to be worth around £15M and that should not be a problem for Newcastle.
If we can be in a good position in the Championship next month and win promotion back to the Premier League this summer then Newcastle should become a big attraction to a number of very good players with Rafa Benitez at the helm.
Rafa will try to strengthen the squad in January, but Derby manager Steve McClaren will hardly want to lose one of his best players half way through the season.
Hughes is a flair player and he made his debut for Derby back in November of 2011 against Peterborough United when he was just 16.
He has played 17 times for the England U21 side but has not played for the full England side.
Will has played a total of 167 games for Derby County with 10 goals and 17 assists and he’s played 20 games for them this season.
Whether we bid for Will will depend on how much Rafa rates him, but the fact that Graham Carr has continued to check on him this season would suggest he could be a target for Newcastle this summer.