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Angus Gunn’s move should encourage Freddie Woodman to seek loan exit

The Newcastle United stopper has the ability to be a star.

Mathew Nash



Southampton are set to complete the signature of Angus Gunn from Manchester City, according to reports.

BBC suggest that Southampton have agreed a £13.5 million deal for the City stopper, who has impressed with the England youth teams and at Norwich City on loan last season.

It is a tremendous move for the young stopper, who has all the attributes to one day be an England international.

A player in a similar position is Newcastle United stopper Freddie Woodman.

(Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

The 21-year-old is, like Gunn, an England under-21 international with a bright future in the game.

The winner of the Golden Glove as England won the World Under-20 Championships last summer he also won the Toulon Tournament with his nation this summer.

The godson of England’s manager Gareth Southgate he has a very bright future in the game but is struggling to make an impact at Newcastle United.

The Magpies have the likes of Martin Dubravka, Rob Elliot, Matz Sels and Karl Darlow all ahead of him in the pecking order and he spent part of last season on loan at Aberdeen.

This term he must follow in Gunn’s lead and head out on loan again, preferably to a Championship side.

Woodman needs to be playing every week, just as Gunn did at Norwich, in order to show just what he is capable of if given a chance.

If Woodman can do that then there is no reason why in twelve months time he too could be commanding a move away for big money. Or, indeed, insisting he receives a fair first-team shout at Newcastle United.

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Newcastle United

Slammed by Alan Shearer, £15m flop Florian Thauvin is now a World Cup finalist

The Newcastle United flop has turned his career around since his woeful spell at St James’ Park.

Mathew Nash



When Newcastle United saw one man warming up during the World Cup semi-final last night it left many aghast. The player in question was Florian Thauvin, who briefly threatened to come onto the pitch in place of Olivier Giroud.

Now, Newcastle fans will be equally amazed that the Frenchman is a World Cup finalist.

The Toon spent big to bring in Thauvin. Back in the summer of 2015, Newcastle paid a reported £15 million plus Remy Cabella on loan to Marseille for Thauvin’s services.

His time at St James’ Park bordered on shambolic. Thauvin played 13 times for Newcastle but was loaned out after just six months, heading back to Marseille.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

His time at Newcastle became synonymous with the failure of the previously fruitful French market for the club. His biggest impact was his fashion sense. The in-joke of several newbies to wear a tuxedo as their matchday suit drew ire from legend Alan Shearer and left Thauvin feeling isolated.

“He turns up in a tux. This is a serious business we’re in here, it was funny on the first day of the season, it’s not funny anymore.

– Newcastle legend Alan Shearer after Thauvin’s performance v Watford in September 2015

Since then, he has proven just why Newcastle invested £15 million in his services. This season has been sensational for the 25-year-old, who is now at Marseille permanently. He played 54 times for his club, scoring 26 goals and bagging 18 assists, as l’OM made the Europa League final.

Newcastle fans will no doubt wonder what might have been from Thauvin. But perhaps he was simply not right for the club in his younger years.

He will now hope to make an appearance in the final this Sunday. But if not, he may still come away with a World Cup winner’s medal.

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Newcastle United

Newcastle would shine with addition of Sporting Lisbon’s Bruno Fernandes

The 23-year-old is attracting heavy interest from the Premier League.



Bruno Fernandes
Photo: Getty Images

Newcastle United are seeking major transfers ahead of the new season and the latest reports link the Magpies with Bruno Fernandes.

Portuguese outlet A Bola state Rafael Benitez’s side have joined the likes of Tottenham and West Ham in the market for the 23-year-old, who could leave Sporting Lisbon in a bargain deal after a turbulent campaign with the club.

Fernandes shone on the field, scoring 16 goals and contributing a further 20 assists across 56 appearances in all competitions, but shocking scenes emerged behind the scenes at Sporting after a group of fans stormed the training ground and attacked players.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

That has already led to a number of players cancelling their contracts, citing just cause, including Portugal’s first-choice goalkeeper Rui Patricio – who joined newly-promoted Wolves ahead of the club’s return to the Premier League.

Fernandes is also expected to leave but Sporting are prepared to compromise on a deal, allowing the eight-cap Portugal international to leave in a cut-price deal – and Newcastle need to ensure they are at the front of the queue for his services.

“We ended up being defeated by the genius of the one who, in my opinion, is the best player in the Portuguese championship.”

Portimonense coach, Vítor Oliveira, after Fernandes scored twice against his side.

Newcastle struggled for creativity in the final third last season as not a single player in Benitez’s squad hit double-figures for goals in the Premier League, while Ayoze Perez and Matt Ritchie led the way in assists with five each.

Fernandes’ numbers last season are significantly higher and his arrival would solve a major problem that Benitez has faced in the heart of midfield – lacking options and looking set to endure the departure of Mikel Merino to Real Sociedad, Sky Sports report.

Fernandes would slot immediately into Newcastle’s line-up and his arrival, alongside Kenedy’s return to St. James’ Park on-loan from Chelsea, would signal a major statement of intent to the rest of the Premier League that the Magpies are here to stay.

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Newcastle United

Newcastle must resist offers for Lascelles after West Ham’s reported bid

Jake Jackman



Photo: Getty Images

Newcastle United have rejected a bid worth up to £25 million for captain Jamaal Lascelles from West Ham, according to Sky Sports. The 24-year-old is understood to be attracting a lot of interest from rival clubs with Everton another team being linked with a move. However, the report goes on to say that the player is not for sale.

That is understandable considering Lascelles’ worth to Newcastle. He was one of the standout players during their first season back in the Premier League with his leadership and defensive qualities there for all to see. He started in all 12 matches that the Magpies recorded victories, while the team conceded 15 goals in the five matches that he didn’t play. This works out at an average of three goals conceded per game.

Meanwhile, in the matches that he did play, Newcastle conceded 32 in 33, which is less than a goal every game. That is a remarkable record for a promoted team and underlines why Lascelles has seen his reputation soar in England. It was a major reason why the team managed to finish in the top-half of the table and Mike Ashley needs to realise what his captain is worth to the club.

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

The Chronicle report that Newcastle United are yet to receive a formal offer for the centre-back, despite the reports by Sky. Lascelles is thought to be happy at St James’ Park and Benitez will not want to lose his captain, regardless of the size of the offer being submitted. Upon returning to pre-season training, the 24-year-old said the following to the official club site:

“There’s not one player here that would try to just play here to try and get a move or for more or whatever. It’s not about that. We’re loyal.”

This has been a dressing room attitude that has been missing during the Mike Ashley era up to now with Newcastle’s top stars often being a run of good form away from a move to a bigger club.

Lascelles seems genuine in his affection towards the club and at the age of 24, there is no rush to move away from St James’ Park. He is the club captain and working under one of the best coaches in the game. The centre-back will only get better in the North East.

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Supporters would be disappointed if Lascelles moved to West Ham. The Hammers are a more established Premier League club with greater ambition, as shown by this summer’s transfer window to date. However, the defender has the potential to move to a top-six club and would likely get that if he remained at Newcastle for another season.

It is encouraging that Newcastle have stated that he isn’t for sale, but there will always be a worry as long as Ashley owns the club. He has a history of selling the team’s best players and if a bigger offer is submitted, he may be tempted to sell. The club need to resist this as Lascelles is an important symbol to the supporters and Benitez.

The manager will want to build the team around his skipper and Lascelles’ presence is crucial in persuading Benitez to remain with the club long term. There is a stand-off over the Spaniard’s future as the club want him to sign a new deal. There is no chance that will happen if the team captain is sold.

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