It’s impossible to ignore what’s been happening in the northeast in the last few weeks, as Newcastle finally ridded themselves of Mike Ashley and were taken over by the Saudi-backed PIF Consortium.
It means, essentially, Newcastle are now the richest club in the world. Their owners, PIF (Public Investment Fund), are worth into the hundreds of billions. Naturally, the takeover has been met with controversy.
But, we aren’t here to get into the nitty gritty of that off-field controversy or talk. It’s been widely covered, spoken about, and in some quarters, rightly criticised. Frankly, too, we don’t know enough to go wading into the non-footballing matters at hand.
However, for a club like Sheffield United – who are going to need the January transfer window – Newcastle being taken over, with the promise of spending to come, opens the door for new faces on the market.
Slavisa Jokanovic is known to want some new players. Wingers sit high on his list, while a central midfielder wouldn’t go amiss, given Conor Hourihane’s nightmare start in red and white.
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In this article, we’ve taken a look at some of the Newcastle players who could find themselves looking for a loan move in January. Specifically, ones who might improve this Sheffield United squad.
Some Blades might look at Jacob Murphy and think ex-Sheffield Wednesday flop, who didn’t exactly rip it up at Hillsborough. But, that is far from the truth.
Murphy actually scored nine times for the Owls that season in 39 games. On the whole, with six assists thrown in, that’s not bad for a winger. And it’s being a winger that means he could interest United.
He was heavily involved in Newcastle’s late resurgence under Steve Bruce last season. He’s also played this year, scoring in the opening day defeat to West Ham. The former Norwich man can play right and left, and at 26, is at the age where he’ll want to kick on.
Gayle is a name that’s been mentioned more than once when it comes to Sheffield United. Along with Callum Wilson, he was said to be on Chris Wilder’s list of targets. Now 32, Gayle has drifted a bit at Newcastle and is sitting pretty on a nice contract until 2024. However, surely he will want to go out and play as well?
His pace means he could suit United either down the middle or wide. He has played that role at Palace and Newcastle, as part of a front three.
Gayle is also proven at this level. 23 goals for West Brom in the 18/19 season, says it all really.
When you think about reliable Premier League midfielders who you just know would be excellent in the Championship, Jeff Hendrick would be a name to bring up.
Hendrick is a proven operator both at this level, and in the Premier League.
215 appearances and 26 goals for Derby predated his move to Burnley. At Turf Moor, he made just shy of 150 appearances, before sealing a move to Newcastle in the summer of 2020.
Hendrick is 29 now, and has appeared just twice off the bench all season at St James’ Park. But his 66 caps for Ireland and energy levels from midfield tell you all know need to know about him.
With new players likely to come in at Newcastle, Hendrick could find playing time minimal. A drop back into the Championship with Sheffield United, might well suit him.
Certainly, this Newcastle takeover has given January a completely different feel.