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Newcastle United

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley must release funds to Kenedy this summer

The forward scored twice in the Magpie’s weekend victory over Southampton.

Jake Jackman

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Photo: Getty Images

Newcastle United took a huge step to safety this past weekend thanks to on-loan winger Kenedy who scored a brace against Southampton. The rest of the results at the bottom went for the Magpies and optimism about their chances increased significantly.

There will be nobody on Tyneside getting too complacent, not least Rafael Benitez, but the manager could be forgiven for having one eye on the summer.

It promises to be a crucial one for the club as it remains on the market, while there will be more rumours about the future of Benitez. There has been friction between the board and the manager in recent windows, which will come into focus again this summer.

Regardless of his desire to sell the club, Mike Ashley needs to appreciate the worth of his manager and make sure that his biggest asset remains at St James’ Park.

A quick way to do that this summer will be to sign Kenedy on a permanent deal from Chelsea. The Mirror report that the winger will be available for £15 million and that would be a great price for a player with his quality. He has immediately improved Newcastle since joining and provided some much-needed quality in the final third.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

During his first six matches, he has scored twice and got one assist. Considering Newcastle’s struggles in the final third throughout this season, Kenedy has provided end product that had previously been lacking. It is too soon to judge him fully, but he has come in and made an impact straight away in a team fighting relegation. That shows both talent and a good mentality.

The Magpies have been a working progress under Benitez this season. Their underlying numbers are good, but they have lacked the quality to produce the results required. Since Kenedy arrived, they have lost only one of their six Premier League matches and that came against an in-form Liverpool team.

As stated above, it is early days for the Brazilian at St James’ Park, but his attacking contributions have been impressive. The 22-year-old is currently averaging 1.02 chances created and 2.86 attempted shots per ninety minutes.

He hasn’t been perfect, with his decision making being questionable at times. However, he has stood out as one of the more talented players in the team and for that reason, he needs to be signed on a permanent deal.

Throughout his tenure as Newcastle United owner, Mike Ashley has been reluctant to spend big money and his penny pinching has only got worse as his desire to sell has increased. Since promotion to the Premier League, the club has spent just under £40 million, which isn’t enough to compete with the majority of clubs in the top-flight.

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

That needs to change as he needs to make sure Benitez doesn’t leave the club this summer, as it would derail any potential takeover. It is clear that the Newcastle manager would like to bring Kenedy to the club on a permanent basis and if Ashley can make that happen, it will go a long way to protecting his investment.

At the age of 22, there is potential for a big profit in the future, as Kenedy would surely develop on Tyneside under Benitez. The money in the modern game has become silly, but at £15 million, Kenedy would represent value.

He has already emerged as a key player for Newcastle and his importance will increase with game-time. This is a deal that Mike Ashley simply must make happen.

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

Everton

Sam Allardyce’s tactical masterstroke responsible for Everton success

The Toffees boss has been heavily criticised since his arrival at the club.

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Photo: Getty Images

Under-fire Everton manager Sam Allardyce engineered a tactical masterstroke during his side’s 1-0 Monday night win over Newcastle United.

By switching the positions of Everton’s two wingers, Allardyce directly contributed to the winning goal and proved his worth to the Goodison Park doubters.

For much of the first half, Yannick Bolasie and Theo Walcott were frustratingly ineffective when stationed on the left and right wings respectively.

Bolasie constantly declined to whip in crosses when given time, instead opting to idle on the ball and lose possession through poorly-executed bits of skill. When the Congolese international decided to put in service to the box, it regularly failed to meet an Everton shirt.

(Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

On the opposite wing, Walcott was largely anonymous and had little impact on proceedings, suffering from a lack of service.

However, Yet Allardyce’s swap proved instantly effective just minutes into the second half. Bolasie collected the ball on the right wing, just inside the Newcastle half, and drove purposefully down the line with his favoured right foot.

The former Crystal Palace man then lofted in a looping, inviting ball to the back post, where now left winger Theo Walcott was waiting in a perfect position.

After a kind ricochet, the ball fell kindly to the Englishman, who lashed home an emphatic strike to give Everton the lead.

(during the Premier League match between Everton and Newcastle United at Goodison Park on April 23, 2018 in Liverpool, England.

It was a perfect reward for the tactical nous of the Everton manager, with his intelligent switch directly resulting in the crucial strike for the Toffees.

The success of the switch provided a much-needed boost for Allardyce, who had endured an uncomfortable week. After a much-publicised club survey asked supporters to rate the manager on a scale of 1-10, the experienced manager had faced embarrassing questions over his future.

There was no better response than an inspired tactical shift that handed Everton all three points,  proving his worth to the Goodison Park faithful.

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English Premier League

Rolando Aarons looks set for second relegation in a row

The Newcastle United winger joined Italian side Hellas Verona on loan in January.

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Despite losing to Everton in the Premier League last night Newcastle United should be safe in the Premier League this season. It has been a tough campaign back in the top-flight but Rafa Benitez has worked wonders with his squad and the Toon Army now look set for another season in the Premier League.

But whilst Newcastle’s current players are safe from relegation, one of their more talented players currently out on loan looks set to suffer a drop.

Rolando Aarons’ career has been blighted by injury problems. When he burst onto the scene at Newcastle in 2014 it seemed as though the club had a future star on their hands. A performance against Crystal Palace that August had Newcastle fans extremely excited about the future for the Jamaican-born talent.

(Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

However, problems soon beset the youngster. After suffering a hamstring problem on international duty he spent six weeks on the sidelines. Hamstring trouble has since gone on to plague the wide man as well as a foot problem and anterior cruciate ligament injury. Since that breakthrough season in 2014-15 Aarons has only managed to play 21 times for the club in the following three campaigns.

This term he has been, for the most part, fit, but not in the plans of Benitez. Therefore, in January, he took the bold move of heading to Italy on loan. The 22-year-old joined Hellas Verona on loan until the end of the season in a bid for regular first-team football.

He joined former Newcastle coach Fabio Pecchia, now the boss at Verona, in the hope of playing regularly and finding his best form.

But, for the second season in a row, it seems Aarons will suffer relegation from the top-tier. Verona are currently 19th in the table, six points away from local rivals Chievo and Crotone and potential safety.

(Photo by Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/Getty Images)

To stay up, Verona need results in their final four games of the season. Whilst the home games against fellow relegation fighters SPAL and Udinese might give them hope, fixtures away to Milan and Juventus have seen many pundits in Italy forecasting their doom.

Aarons has played eight times for Verona since arriving at the club but has had limited impact. No goals and no assists in his 137 minutes of Italian football so far.

It seems that Aarons still has a long way to go until he can recapture his best form. The move to Verona has not been a success, but it was at least a brave switch from the young winger.

This summer he will be working hard to maintain his fitness and attempt to become a regular at Newcastle next season.

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England National Team

“No surprise”: Twitter reacts to rumours of Newcastle’s Jonjo Shelvey’s England return

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Photo: Getty Images.

When news broke that Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey could be in line for an England recall, fans around the country reacted in a variety of ways, both of joy and dread, that the former Liverpool man could be on the plane to Russia.

The Times say that his form, combined with fitness concerns over Jack Wilshere and Adam Lallana, have put him in the frame, and England boss Gareth Southgate is set watch as his Magpies team face Everton on Monday.

The 26-year-old has been key to Rafa Benitez’s side this season as they have re-established themselves back in the top flight of English football.

(Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Shelvey has already got six England caps to his name, the most recent coming in November 2015 against France, and he could now earn a return two and a half years later.

His sparkling form has caught the eye as all three goals he has been involved with this season (one goal and two assists) have come in his last four appearances.

Here’s how Twitter reacted to the news…

Many believed it was about time…

Plenty made comparisons to the alternatives, with two in particular coming up a few times…

He’s made some eat their words…

Yet not all agreed…

After three years in the international wilderness, Jonjo Shelvey will need to maintain his current form if he is to enter into the fight to earn himself a ticket on the plane to Russia as a surprise inclusion in Gareth Southgate’s squad to face Belgium, Panama and Tunisia in World Cup Group G.

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