Newcastle United still have plenty of transfer business to do before the end of August, both in terms of incomings and outgoings. One player that has been linked to the club several times during recent weeks is Sam Clucas.
The Sun are the latest to suggest interest in the Hull City midfielder, as they report the Magpies are stepping up their bid to land the 26-year-old.
Although he was part of a relegated team last season, he was one of the Tigers’ best players and showed that he could compete in the Premier League. It is his desire to stay in the top flight, but Hull do not want to sell until they sign more players, as they currently risk leaving themselves short before the start of the Championship.
Newcastle could try to tempt Hull into selling with a £4 million offer, but it remains to be seen whether this would be high enough to come to an arrangement.
Would he be a good signing for Newcastle?
For Newcastle supporters that didn’t see many Hull City matches last season, it would be understandable if they were underwhelmed by this rumour.
Clucas isn’t a household name and he wouldn’t be a sexy signing by any stretch of the imagination. That said, he has proven himself to be a good player in the top flight and was even name-checked by Gareth Southgate last season.
He may not have received a call-up, but he wasn’t a million miles away from the England squad and for a fee of £4 million, this could be a shrewd investment by Rafa Benitez.
Last season, he was nearly an ever-present for Hull and showed his adaptability by playing several different positions.
He prefers to play as a central midfielder, but he can cover anywhere on the left-wing as well as playing either a more advanced or defensive central role.
Clucas is reliable in possession, as shown by his pass success rate of 83.2%. He rarely gave the ball away and read the game well when he has the ball at his feet.
A contribution of three goals and one assist for a struggling team is not bad for a player in his position.
It was his work out of possession that impressed most, as he worked tirelessly for his team and showed a tenacity to win the ball back always.
He averaged 2.4 tackles and 1.4 interceptions per game, which is a good return for a player new to the league.
Clucas isn’t a player that will steal the headlines with an incredible performance, but he is hard-working and reliable.
They are two qualities Newcastle need if they are to establish themselves as a Premier League force once again.