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Newcastle United

Three goalkeepers that Newcastle United should target this summer

Jake Jackman

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Newcastle United are in the market for a new goalkeeper this summer, but they have yet to make serious progress in their search. It

is thought that Rafa Benitez doesn’t fully trust any of the keepers on his books and wants to bring a player in to be the club’s number one in their first season back in the Premier League.

They need to be a big character who will be able to cope with the pressure, while the Magpies’ boss also wants a keeper that is comfortable with their feet.

Here are three players that they should target…

Alphonse Areola – Paris Saint Germain

The PSG stopper has been loosely linked with a move to the North East, although there are doubts regarding the reliability of the sources reporting the rumour. If Newcastle are interested in the Frenchman, it could turn out to be one of the coups of the window. He has shown his ability during three good loan spells, with his period at Villarreal being particularly impressive. Benitez follows Spanish football closely and he will be aware of Areola.

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There was a period towards the end of 2016 that he managed to usurp Kevin Trapp and play regularly for PSG. He started 14 times for them in Ligue 1 and made a further six appearances in the Champions League. The 24-year-old is clearly a talent and it would be a great move by Newcastle to bring him to the Premier League. It would be a difficult deal to do, but the potential of the player means that it is one worth attempting for the newly-promoted side.

Michel Vorm – Tottenham Hotspur

If Newcastle were to look for possible goalkeeping targets in the Premier League, there are few better options than Michel Vorm. He is the number two at Tottenham and a move to gain regular first team football may appeal to him at this stage of his career. At the age of 33, he still has a few seasons left at the top level. If he plays regularly this season, he could even go to the World Cup as the Netherlands’ number one if the Dutch qualify for Russia.

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Last season, he made only five appearances in the Premier League and there will come a time when he wants to be a number one again before he retires. The Dutchman is a good shot-stopper and he is comfortable with the ball at his feet, as reflected by his distribution success rate of 75.4%.

Tottenham wouldn’t want to sell, but if an offer of £5-10 million came in, they could be tempted to deal. There hasn’t been a link made at this stage, but he ticks a lot of boxes and he is a player that Newcastle should consider.

Victor Valdes – Free agent

The Spanish goalkeeper is a free agent after suffering relegation with Middlesbrough last season. It would be a deal that makes financial sense for the club and allow them to spend their budget on other positions. Valdes did well in the Premier League and looked comfortable at this level. He certainly fits the criteria that Benitez is looking for and it would be a good short-term solution to their problems in goal.

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In terms of his ability, he is good enough for the Premier League and he is willing to play the ball out with his feet, which is something Newcastle are looking for. However, it will be off the pitch that he is most appealing, as he has plenty of experience and a winning mentality. He has played at some of the world’s biggest clubs. The relegation last season was a stain on his CV and he will be keen to put that behind him quickly. A move could make sense for both club and player.

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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