Newcastle have yet to make a major transfer breakthrough, with their only signing being the permanent transfer of Christian Atsu.
They are in the market for another winger, with the Chronicle reporting that they are tracking both Jacob Murphy and Demarai Gray. The latter would cost a club record fee in excess of £20 million, but the former would be more attainable. The Magpies want to do a deal for around £8 million, but it is believed that Norwich City want closer to £12 million.
Tom Lawrence is mentioned as another wing target that the club are doing background checks on.
What would they bring to Newcastle?
Murphy and Gray have similar qualities, which suggests that Newcastle are looking to bring in a winger with pace. They are both fine dribblers, capable of beating opposition defenders with their speed and dynamism.
Last season, Murphy was one of the stars for relegated Norwich as he contributed nine goals and six assists. His ability to beat a man was impressive and he was one of the main beneficiaries of the Canaries’ relegation.
In addition to his dribbling ability, he has an excellent long shot and he is never afraid of pulling the trigger when the opportunity presents itself. Although he is a good talent, he remains raw and his defensive contribution needs to improve if he is to make the step up to the Premier League.
Unsurprisingly, Gray would be a more exciting addition, as his Premier League experience means that he could immediately slot into the Newcastle team. At 20 years of age, he has more potential than Murphy if coached in the right way.
He only contributed one goal and three assists in the most recent campaign, but he was only given nine Premier League starts. It was odd that he wasn’t used more regularly as he always looked threatening when he was on the pitch.
How likely is it that one moves to St James’ Park?
Rafa Benitez is struggling to get his targets in the door, but he will be keen to make progress soon. From these two, it is more likely that Murphy arrives as the sums mentioned make more business sense for Newcastle.
He is easier to attain and the player himself will be keen to make the move, given that he would have the opportunity to play in the Premier League. The Norwich man is nowhere near the finished article, but he has shown enough to suggest he is worth a gamble.
It is less likely that Gray is signed, as he would cost a lot of money. The 20-year-old is one of the most exciting young players in this country and it would send a statement to the rest of the league, but it would be a surprise if Newcastle broke their transfer record to make it happen.
They have other positions that they need to strengthen and they can’t afford to blow their budget on Gray. The winger would likely be interested in a transfer if it meant he was given more first team starts, but Leicester wouldn’t want to lose him at this stage of his career.
Featured image: All rights reserved by Alex Hannam