Newcastle Linked With Three Creative Midfielders For January


In the last couple of days we have seen Jonjo Shelvey lose his personal hearing against his FA misconduct case – and Newcastle have been linked with three players who could come in during the January transfer window and add more creativity to our  central midfield.

The players we have been linked with are 28 year-old Alan Judge of Brentford, Chelsea’s 20 year-old young midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek and 27 year-old former Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph who has been at Manchester City for over two years now.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 20 year-old Chelsea midfielder

The Chronicle reported yesterday that since Judge’s contract runs out in June we could get him in on the cheap next month and maybe for as little as £600K.

The local papers seem to differ on whether Alan Judge is still a target for Newcastle with the Northern Echo suggesting hs isn’t.

But for anything around £1M for Judge, who was in the Championship Team of the Season last April, the risk becomes much less.

Alan Judge – good buy for Newcastle

If Newcastle can get him in for that fee next month we should do it and it would be a permanent deal.

That’s even though he is still not fully recovered from the double fracture of the right leg he picked up at Ipswich Town last April.

For Rubin Loftus-Creek and Fabian Delph they would potentially come in on loan moves for the rest of the season.

Both have been injured this term and have had little playing time and want to get first team games out on loan.

For Loftus-Creek it seems that Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is keen on the very talented and strong England U21 International and the loan deal would probably  not be with an option to buy.

The 6ft 3ins tall Lewisham-born player has only appeared 3 times for the Chelsea first team so far this season and he’s played at all levels for the England Youth sides including 13 times for the England U21 side with 5 goals.

But we’re not sure if Rafa would want to bring the talented youngster in without the opportunity to sign him on permanently.

Fabian Delph when he signed for Manchester City in 2014

With Fabian Delph it would be with an option to buy because the former Aston Villa and Leeds United midfielder doesn’t seem to fit at Manchester City since he signed on for them in the summer of 2014 for £8M.

So of the three we think Rafa would take Alan Judge for a decent low fee and be willing to take Fabian Delph on loan for the rest of the season.

If we can get both creative players in next month that should strengthen the central midfield for our ongoing push to win the Championship.

Then in the summer if we are promoted back to the Premier League, we expect Rafa to have another big clear-out of players as he brings in some talented new players to Newcastle to further improve the quality of the squad.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Note: Reader Elliot Little will be braving the sub-zero temperatures on the Great Wall of China this Christmas to raise money for mental health charity MIND.
Elliot will camp out with his friend on Christmas Eve overnight on a challenging section of the wall before trekking around the relativelty under-explored area of Jiankou on Christmas Day.
Here’s more information on the trek and his justgiving page.



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60 comments so far

  • Mag52

    Dec 21, 2016 at 5:23 PM

    Comment #1

    Not sure that Chelski would want to part with Loftus Cheek.

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  • jazzyp

    Dec 21, 2016 at 5:23 PM

    Comment #2

    Mad serb

    If Rafa does not see Mitro as our no1 forward in the Championship, Then surely he will deem him surplus for our hopeful swift return to the PL

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 21, 2016 at 5:24 PM

    Comment #3

    What at the age of 27 has Alan Judge always played in the lower leagues and not even for division wining sides.

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  • Vask

    Dec 21, 2016 at 5:28 PM

    Comment #4

    Jail,

    Why Judge him on his history. But, at the end of the day the rumours have been going round since the summer, so did Rafa know of him before or is it a scouting find? There is still a chance that he was being considered for this season in the hope he’d recover quickly. We don’t know if any of these subsequent links are just rehashed from the summer.

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  • WWSBRD

    Dec 21, 2016 at 5:29 PM

    Comment #6

    Jail
    Must of done enough to catch Rafas eye

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  • hibbit

    Dec 21, 2016 at 5:31 PM

    Comment #7

    VASK
    Does that mean you see Vardy as a poacher? YES

    Also, in relation to mad Serbs observation, would you say the age of the premier poacher is drawing to a close? NO

    Also, what exactly is the definition of a poaching striker? NOT SURE THERE IS ONE but my take on it would be….. a forward who scores a lot of goals from a position close to the goal
    from defenders mistakes knock downs flick ons or any scraps they can get on to

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  • Jib

    Dec 21, 2016 at 5:33 PM

    Comment #8

    Ive been told
    Marco Asensio a young attacking midfielder on loan from Real Madrid for 6 months.
    It’s one of those somebody knows somebodie’s mother etc. etc.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 21, 2016 at 5:34 PM

    Comment #9

    Has he though, has it not just been lazy journos.

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  • WWSBRD

    Dec 21, 2016 at 5:38 PM

    Comment #10

    Jail
    He certainly had in the summer but his injury stopped the move, not sure its lazy journalism to suggest we’d go back in for him this window when the price will be significantly less

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  • croftus5678

    Dec 21, 2016 at 5:41 PM

    Comment #11

    will judge come back to what he was after his injury ? for under 1mil hes def worth the risk imo and may even do a decent job in the prem as he can cover 3 possitions.

    cheeky boy would only be a 6 month loan ! with no option to buy imo so even though hes be great this season he’s only a quick fix.

    and delph showed a lot of promise but has not played or improved since villa and tbh he didnt have the best of stats while at villa ! 27yo would not be my choice tbh but rafa knows best.

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  • Vask

    Dec 21, 2016 at 5:41 PM

    Comment #12

    Hibs

    I agree with your definition. It’s a positional style I like and if I ever play up front then that is the style I employ. Am more of a traditional two footed winger than a striker.

    I think the perfect supportin evidence for Gayle being an effective poacher was that goal against that Foster chap, I have momentarily forgotten his team. Leeds.

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  • Vask

    Dec 21, 2016 at 5:47 PM

    Comment #13

    Is Judge less than a mil? Blimey!

    Has he returned from injury yet?

    Surprising Delph is 27. I’ve only saw him a few times but he does look worthy of a try in a toon shirt.

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  • anthc

    Dec 21, 2016 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #14

    Haven’t seen alot of judge or Loftus cheek tbh but Delph no thanks. Didn’t he declare his commitment to villa then sign for man city the following day? Clearly done it for the money as everyone knew he wouldn’t get a game there.

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  • Jib

    Dec 21, 2016 at 6:13 PM

    Comment #15

    Mag52 @1
    It’s not a case of parting company.
    It’s getting a young prospect lots of game time under a class coaching set up
    For example
    Liverpool cannot be happy with the amount of playing time the young Serbian attacking midfielder Lazar Markovic is getting on loan with Sporting Lisbon.
    Can a club change the loan conditions mid – season ?
    He was Mitro’s best mate at Partizan.

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  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Dec 21, 2016 at 6:17 PM

    Comment #16

    Isn’t Delph just like a runt of the litter Hayden? Don’t want anybody blocking his development and especially not somebody that has shown themselves to be all about the ££££. He isn’t really creative so not a Shelvey challenger.

    Judge – nah thanks.

    Loftus-Cheek – like the name, a headline writers dream, but I’d be lying if I said I’ve watched him play at any great length so can’t comment on his ability or potential.

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  • mad-serb

    Dec 21, 2016 at 6:31 PM

    Comment #17

    @WWSBRD

    As for successful poachers in the PL Vardy, Berahino, Inghalo, Wilson, Ings, Defoe, Austin, Citys young striker whose name escapes me and Sturridge off the top of my head again my opinion of a poacher I suppose but pretty sure Gayle plays in a similar style to most of those Ive mentioned.

    Out of those only maybe only Defoe for me and not even really he has other attributes that helps him. Wilson I don’t know that well. The other are all have strength , areal ability on their side or speed or in some cases both. And then you have the likes of Sturridge that are more technically gifted and can make space for themselves to shoot.

    Poacher for me was more the like of knack of being at the right place at the right time. Very good at just finding a little of pocket of space in the box to shoot and hitting the target 8 out of 10 times. Wright was a master, Ton Cotty springs to mind, even Sheringham, Dwight Yorke, and Javier Hernández

    But like you say its a matter of opinion what we see as a poacher.

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  • martoon

    Dec 21, 2016 at 6:37 PM

    Comment #18

    Jib @5 Where do you buy them? 😀

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  • mad-serb

    Dec 21, 2016 at 6:42 PM

    Comment #19

    @jazzyp

    I don’t think he did not see Mitro as a championship striker. I believe he sees what many saw, a player with potential that can make it the premier league. I think there is a lot of areas where he has to improve and he has been working on those things. He defiantly more leaner this season and has put on a yard of pace as result.

    There also the video clip where he was learning him a new trick or two earlier in the season that was posted and then there has been the issue of Gayle´s form. He got the chance early on and hasn’t really given him the chance to get to many sniffs since, which is good for us.

    If he has had a chance he hasn’t let us down so far.

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  • WWSBRD

    Dec 21, 2016 at 6:47 PM

    Comment #20

    mad-serb
    Are u saying Gayle isnt strong or fast? Think thats really pretty harsh

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  • Toonfan8

    Dec 21, 2016 at 6:55 PM

    Comment #21

    I couldnt believe, that everybody thinks Mitrovic will be gone in january or in the summer, what is bad to have two or three good strikers? Liverpool have Firmino,Sturidge and Ings…Chelsea Costa,Batshuay…MU Ibrahimovic,Rooney,Rashford,Martial….good teams do not have 11 good players, what is bad on that, that we can put 20 good players, if we want to be good we need competition for places, we need strong squad, I cant see any reason for Rafa to sell Mitro, young lad, is getting better, can score goals, other type then Gayle, we can compare them, when Mitro will be 26, he for sure has bags of potential, we need to hold him in our club, also Ayoze…I can see them being very good next year in the EPL…we dont need to sell, we need to sell De Jong, Riviere, Krul, Tiote, Saivet…and bring players that suits our club…but we need to hold on Mbemba, Mitro, Haidara—for me, these players still have big future in our club…

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  • Jib

    Dec 21, 2016 at 6:56 PM

    Comment #22

    martoon
    If you are nice to your missus you might get one for free.
    😎

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  • Novocastrian66

    Dec 21, 2016 at 6:57 PM

    Comment #23

    I be only seen Loftus Cheek on a couple of occasions and Inthink he is the real deal. I think he will have to move on from Chelsea to progress as they will always bring in players ahead of him. I would be surprised if he came here. I would expect there will be plenty of suitors.

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  • MadisonToon

    Dec 21, 2016 at 7:00 PM

    Comment #24

    If there’s a way to get Loftus-Cheek with an option to buy (at less than 15m or whatever RB thinks could be appropriate) then I think he would be an excellent acquisition. He would get us through the Championship season where we are less likely to be able to pull in really class players (certainly in Jan) and help get us promoted so that we can make purchases of higher quality in the summer with the prospect of playing in the Prem with Rafa. If he turns out to be worth 15m then we can purchase him at the end of the loan, but, if not, then he can head back to Chelsea having gotten (likely) lots more playing time – a win-win.

    Judge at less than a million would be a cheap quick fix and probably worth it for that fee…although I’m far less confident that he would provide the needed additional creativity this year meaning he would be a gamble if we don’t get more than him for the CM/CRM role.

    Delph seems like a poor choice.

    Now, Tielemans on the other hand…would certainly not come until the summer and maybe not then although the Anderlecht duo of Mbemba and Mitrovic might be able to help pull him here (and Rafa, of course). Pie in the sky, sure, but isn’t that what blogs are for?

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  • mad-serb

    Dec 21, 2016 at 7:03 PM

    Comment #25

    WWSBRD

    Not saying he is not fast but his pace it not his overall strength but I would say his is fairly week at holding up the ball which is another attribute which is not a strength of his.

    He reads the game well, puts himself in positions where he can score, is quick enough and a very good finisher and has a very good work rate.

    But if you would be able to choose out of those strikers you mentioned apart from Wilson. Would you pick Gayle over any of them? For me I believe all the other would score more goals for me than him.

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  • WWSBRD

    Dec 21, 2016 at 7:05 PM

    Comment #26

    Toonfan
    People dont want to sell Mitro because we have an amount of strikers, some just dont rate him (including Rafa by the looks and sounds of it)

    And Perez has done next to nothing for over a season now

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  • WWSBRD

    Dec 21, 2016 at 7:08 PM

    Comment #27

    mad-serb
    Id pick Gayle ahead of some of them yeah however I think Id pick them all over Mitro

    I think ull be surprised what Gayle can do under Rafa in the PL, tbf he had a decent career in the PL already under managers who didnt rate him or play the style of football he likes

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  • G

    Dec 21, 2016 at 7:11 PM

    Comment #28

    @26, I wouldn’t say I don’t rate him, but I certainly don’t trust him to do his job properly. Seen him just standing waiting for somebody else to do the work round him and make space, rather than find and create it, and don’t get me started on his temperament. I’m not saying I’m writing him off as a flop, after all age is on his side, buf if Rafa does decide to let him go I won’t be shedding tears.

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  • mad-serb

    Dec 21, 2016 at 7:26 PM

    Comment #29

    WWSBRD

    would also take most of them over Mitro , apart from say 1 or 2. As for Gayle I would be happy to say I am wrong if he makes it in the premier league for us and I hope he succeeds.

    But that’s the beauty of football it always splits opinions and its great to discuss it 🙂

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  • MadisonToon

    Dec 21, 2016 at 7:31 PM

    Comment #30

    The thing about Mitro that has been rightly pointed out by Toonfan is that Mitro is young and has all of his best years ahead of him as he is only 22. Sure, on Dec 21 2016 we may prefer Gayle, but that doesn’t mean that next year or the year after 23 or 24 yo Mitro won’t be much more useful than 27 or 28 yo Gayle. I just don’t see him being worth enough money as a sale today to overcome the amount of use he will be to the club over the course of his current (and subsequent) contracts.

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  • WWSBRD

    Dec 21, 2016 at 7:34 PM

    Comment #31

    mad-serb
    Well I look forward to next year when we are top of the PL with Gayle netting multiple hat tricks and having 20 goals already to his name haha

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  • WWSBRD

    Dec 21, 2016 at 7:37 PM

    Comment #32

    Madison
    Ur gambling on potential (much like we did when we bought him) and his attitude (which has always been in question)

    Hard work beats potential when potential doesn’t work hard after all

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  • MadisonToon

    Dec 21, 2016 at 7:42 PM

    Comment #33

    WWSBRD

    I’d love to say we can purchase a team of complete players and never have to think about getting high-potential players and developing them. However, until we have a Sheikh, that won’t be possible. We can’t purchase a ready-made player in each position along with their backups so we need to rely on potential players and their hopeful development under Rafa to become complete players. That is, unless there is some other route that you would suggest?

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  • WWSBRD

    Dec 21, 2016 at 7:55 PM

    Comment #34

    Madison
    I am absolutely happy to buy potential as long as it is worthwhile potential and it develops so we get something out of it but tbf we didnt buy Mitrovic as potential we bought him to be a starter in the squad (pl squad at the time) and now Rafa (when we need a target man on the pitch) brings Perez on instead of him and tells visiting fans that a certain striker ignores instructions and coaches are at a loss with what to do with him….that doesnt tell me hes going to improve

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  • MadisonToon

    Dec 21, 2016 at 8:03 PM

    Comment #35

    WWSBRD

    The Mitrovic case is a tricky one. Rafa didn’t buy him so it may not be easy to get him to buy into everything he wants. He was purchased hoping he was PL ready by McClaren so I don’t think we can really hold that against him.

    I hear you that he may not pan out to be as good as SM hoped he would be, but does that mean it’s time to sell up and hope we can find another high potential 20-ish year old for the same price? Seems like that’s more of a gamble, but I suppose it depends on how much we can get for him and what is all out there for purchase.

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  • WWSBRD

    Dec 21, 2016 at 8:16 PM

    Comment #36

    Madison
    If Mitro wont buy into what Rafa wants then 1 how is he going to develop and 2 whats the point in having him here? Id far rather Rafa was here long term than a striker with potential and a bad attitude

    As for selling him am fine with it as long as the price is right (and I trust that itll be Rafas decision on if the price is right which I am happy to go along with). Plus tbh it also depends on how much potential u think Mitro has and what he will become

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  • chicousa

    Dec 21, 2016 at 8:16 PM

    Comment #37

    On Mitro,
    With the exception of the Blackburn match, when has started he has played well. And more importantly the team has played well! In 2 of his starts, QPR away and Preston in the EFL cup the team played their two most dominating games, winning both 6-nil. Mitro’s hold up play and willingness to make the unselfish pass, make the team better.

    Do I think he should be starting ahead of Gayle at this point in time? No.
    But he will be a great option to bring in should Gayle’s goals dry up for a period of time, as happens to all strikers. Mitro offers Rafa a striker with different qualities than Gayle, and so is valuable as an impact sub. No reason Rafa should not keep him. And besides, I like the big Serb and he is on fire! 🙂

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  • Our Toon

    Dec 21, 2016 at 8:19 PM

    Comment #38

    Like all strikers they need a run of games, mitro record this season from games he’s started in the league is actually quite good.

    Gayle is rightly lauded but not long ago he could finish for toffee and that had a lot to do with him being a bit part player.

    On Shelvey I’m shocked to see so many willing to give him the benefit of doubt or trying to justify why he might of said something deemed racist…..if our player had been subjected to an apparent racist comment these ppl making exceptions for shelvey would be up in arms asking for punishment. For me it doesn’t matter what strip you wear and let’s not forget this is his 2nd alleged offence in his career of this sort. I hope he’s not been racist but no one gets charged without proper due diligence taking place.

    If you get abused for the lack of hair jonjo then do your talking know the pitch with the ball, that’s my advice.

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  • Our Toon

    Dec 21, 2016 at 8:24 PM

    Comment #39

    Chicousa

    Let’s not forget mitro coming on changed the game against Norwich at home, an extra big man to mark….won the knockdowns that led to the goals. Thanks to that we really kicked on and Norwich…..well the wheels have fallen off and at the time they were heading for the top of table…..massive points for us

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  • chicousa

    Dec 21, 2016 at 8:28 PM

    Comment #40

    Our Toon,
    Very true! Having Mitro come in late in the Norwich match created chaos in the Norwich defense. Perfect example of being an impact sub!

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