Newcastle United’s expected Saudi-backed takeover is set to see the Magpies very busy in the transfer market. Now, a report from 90min is suggesting that there may be a British feel to any recruitment the club undertake this summer.
A whole host of British talent is being linked with a move to St James’ Park, including one current England international.
The report claims that John Stones could be a target for Newcastle. There are doubts over the players future at Manchester City, after an injury struck recent time at The Etihad Stadium. As reported by the Daily Star in March, City are open to selling him for a fee in the region of £50 million.
The 39-cap England international, who has won two Premier League titles at City, would appear to be a good signing on paper. However, one Newcastle United legend has previously had his reservations about the player.
Alan Shearer, Newcastle’s record goalscorer, has long been a critic of Stones. In 2017, he appeared on MOTD2 and was very critical of the player as his former Everton team-mate Phil Neville tried to defend him.
That criticism continued as recently as last year. In his column for The Sun, Shearer ripped into Stones for his performance in England’s UEFA Nations League semi-final defeat to The Netherlands.
“Terrible decision-making and dreadful execution. England’s defence will not want to watch Thursday’s performance back…
“…Centre-back Stones was not being selected for the big games by Pep Guardiola at Manchester City during this season.
“…Perhaps Pep doesn’t trust him the way he did Vincent Kompany and Aymeric Laporte — and even Nicolas Otamendi.
“At 25 he’s not a youngster any more and you cannot keep making the same mistakes.
“Stones made the obvious errors this week as they led to goals and he’ll get a lot of criticism for it but he has to accept that.”
Then, after Stones and Nicolas Otamendi had a horror-show display against Norwich City, Shearer stated, again in The Sun, that he would be ‘rubbing his hands’ at the prospect of facing the player.
There is no doubt of Stones’ ability to be a top ball-playing centre-back. However, when it actually comes to doing the basics of defending, the 25-year-old has often been found wanting and Shearer might be one of many to be concerned that Stones is not what Newcastle United need at the back.