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Newcastle: Benitez praises for players; Yedlin injury; Chelsea interested in Lascelles

Jake Jackman

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Newcastle continued their good form to beat Preston for the second time in a week, this time in the league. They were somewhat fortunate as the home side played extremely well and had Newcastle under the cosh from minute one.

It was a completely different team to the one that showed up at St James’ Park, but Newcastle dug in and managed to take the three points. In his post-match interview, Benitez praised the character of his team as they absorbed heavy pressure and showed their quality on the break.

“I am really pleased with the team because we are doing well away.

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“The players showed character and in the whole game we did well defending.”

It wasn’t a dominant performance from the league leaders and several players didn’t reach the level expected from them. However, they managed to pick up the win and that is the mark of champions. Benitez has completely transformed Newcastle’s outlook away from home and they are now able to close games out. They have conceded just three goals on the road this season, while they are also the league’s top scorers. Newcastle know if they can keep things tight at the back, they have the quality in attack to win games.

DeAndre Yedlin was forced off on Saturday with a head wound after having a coin thrown at him from the crowd. It was disappointing to see this happen in the Championship and serves as a reminder that there are some questionable characters at matches every weekend. The American left the match with his head bandaged up and had to be replaced in the closing stages. There is a week until the next fixture, but Yedlin will be a doubt until the extent of his injury is fully known.

The former Tottenham player did react brilliantly on Twitter as seen above, showing that he possesses a good sense of humour, despite the injury that he suffered. The American has been one of the unsung heroes of Newcastle’s recent form and is beginning to establish himself as the first choice right back at the club. He is facing competition from Vurnon Anita and Jesus Gamez, which will be good for him at this stage of his career. Yedlin is still relatively inexperienced and has already developed a lot under the tutelage of Rafa Benitez. The injury could temporarily stall his progress, but the future looks bright for the American.

In a surprising development, Chelsea have been linked with a move for Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles after a period of scouting the centre back. The Blues are looking for an English centre back to add competition to the squad, while adhering to the rules on homegrown players. The Metro report that an £18 million bid is possible and it will be interesting to see how Newcastle react if a move is made in January.

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On the one hand, he has a lot of potential and has developed into a real leader in the dressing room, which is why he was awarded the captaincy during the summer. The rumoured fee of £18 million is likely to be too low for Newcastle to sell as they recognise Lascelles’ ability to grow into an international calibre defender.

Benitez has also stated that Newcastle will no longer be a stepping stone and he won’t want to lose a key player this early into his time in charge of the club. There is a different feel to the club at the moment and the players are committed to the cause. Lascelles may not even be interested in a move away as he is the captain of the huge club that is heading in the right direction. There may well be interest from Chelsea, but it will by no means be an easy deal to do.

Featured image: All rights reserved by Newcastle United

Jake is a journalist based in the South East. He is a Newcastle United fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.

Newcastle United

Newcastle United fans divided after Nicolai Jorgensen performance

The Danish striker has long been linked with a move to Newcastle United.

Mathew Nash

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Denmark played out a 1-1 draw with Australia in the World Cup this afternoon. A controversial penalty was converted by Aston Villa midfielder Mile Jedinak to give the Socceroos a deserved draw against their European opponents. But the opening goal of the game might have been one of the best in the tournament so far.

Christian Eriksen smashed home a delicious left-foot half-volley to give the Danes the lead. However, it was the assist from a Newcastle United target that had fans talking on social media.

Nicolai Jorgensen played a brilliant reverse pass into the path of Eriksen. The Feyenoord striker has long been linked with Newcastle United. Over the weekend The Sun reported that Newcastle would need to pay £20 million for the player.

Newcastle were previously linked with the player in January, with a £15 million bid being rejected.

(Photo credit should read OLAF KRAAK/AFP/Getty Images)

That interest appears to have continued and it is easy to see why. Jorgensen was the Eredivisie’s top scorer in 2016-17, scoring 25 goals in 45 games.

But there is also a case suggesting he is not worth the money. He scored just 13 goals last season and against Peru in the opening game of the World Cup he struggled.

It is clear that scoring goals is not really his specialty. His link-up play is brilliant but some Newcastle fans feel he would simply not score goals in England.

Here is how Newcastle United fans reacted to his display…

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Newcastle should move for Senegal star M’Baye Niang

Newcastle are looking for attacking additions this summer.

Jamie Watts

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Newcastle United are reportedly in the market for new forwards this summer, according to the Northern Echo, with Rafa Benitez identifying the Magpies’ attacking output as a key weakness last term, despite their impressive 10th place finish. And a new target should emerge from yesterday’s World Cup clash between Senegal and Poland.

The Africans surprisingly came away as victors, having been helped by two massive defensive errors from the European outfit, with Grzegorz Krychowiak’s late goal proving nothing more than a consolation.

Torino striker M’Baye Niang proved to be a thorn in the side of Poland all game, landing the man of the match award, as his pace and power proved too much for Thiago Rangel Cionek and accomplished right-back Lukasz Piszczek to deal with.

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His shining moment came in the 60th minute, when he returned onto the field of play from injury and promptly latched onto a poor back-pass, eventually rounding the out-rushing Wojciech Szczesny and slotting into an empty net – notably scoring his first ever Senegal goal with his first shot on target.

And Newcastle should be keeping an eye on the 23-year-old throughout the tournament. Current targets such as Salomon Rondon and Jordan Ayew are underwhelming for fans and Rafa Benitez could look to make a statement by bringing in the former Watford loanee.

His physicality and raw speed suit the Premier League to a tee, and given regular playing-time the forward could become a sensation in England. However, he has recently agreed to join Torino on a permanent basis, meaning any deal would likely be a loan deal at the moment. A deal is still possible though, as Niang will be likely play second-fiddle to Andrea Belotti next term.

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Newcastle United should rekindle Miguel Layun interest after stunning World Cup performance

The 29-year-old was wanted by Newcastle last summer.

Mathew Nash

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Mexico caused a World Cup shock yesterday, defeating reigning champions Germany 1-0 in Moscow. It was a fantastic performance by El Tri, who decimated the world champions with a fearsome display of counter-attacking football.

There were many performances that caught the eye, with Javier Hernandez, Hirving Lozano and Hector Herrera all outstanding. But former Watford man Miguel Layun also put in a tremendous display.

It was one which will hopefully see Newcastle United rekindle their efforts to sign him.

Playing on the right-hand side of midfield he was a constant thorn in the side of Marvin Plattenhardt for Germany. Meanwhile, his impressive ability to work up and down the pitch the entire game left Julian Draxler completely nullified.

(Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

Currently contracted to Porto he spent the second half of last season with Sevilla, who have a permanent deal lined up. However, last summer saw Newcastle linked with a move for the player.

Valued at £6 million, Rafa Benitez is reportedly a fan and wanted him to help their survival hopes last term- as reported by Record, among others. No deal ever came off but 12 months down the line Newcastle should try again.

Layun proved against Germany just how impressive an athlete he is. The 29-year-old is also extremely versatile. Capable at both left and right-back, on either wing or even in central midfield he would solve many problems for Newcastle United.

With Sevilla dawdling over a permanent deal for the Mexican the Magpies should consider coming knocking once again.

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