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Premier League promotion hopefuls Newcastle United are linked with a move for Hull City defender Harry Maguire in the upcoming summer transfer window. The 23-year old has been one of the stand-out players for the relegation threatened Tigers and Rafael Benitez is plotting to bring him to the St. James’ Park ahead of the next season.
The £12 million rated centre-half has generated interest among many other big clubs owing to his performances in what has been his breakthrough season. But Newcastle are willing to go all out for the centre-back in the summer.
The former Sheffield Wednesday defender broke into the first-team post an injury to first-choice centre-half Curtis Davies, and has made the position his own. With his strong displays at the back, Maguire has emerged as a true leader for Hull and has soon become a mainstay under manager Marco Silva.
The tall and burly defender is an excellent header of the ball and is equally good with the ball at his feet. Maguire has demonstrated immense confidence time and again, carrying the ball out of the back line on plenty of occasion and possesses a decent range of passing as well. Those are qualities that are of prime importance in a modern day centre-back along with the defensive skill set, both of which Maguire possesses in abundance. He looks at ease in the Premier League and has become a vital figure at the KCOM Arena.
Newcastle have been the team to beat in the EFL Championship this season. Benitez has turned the team into an extremely strong unit in the second tier and has led them to the summit of the standings, with a five-point lead over second-placed Brighton & Hove Albion. There is a big difference with the rest of the chasing pack and promotion back to the top-flight is almost a given for the Magpies.
The Spaniard tactician seems to have already started planning for life back in the Premier League, identifying Maguire as a key target for the summer window. In captain Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark and Grant Hanley, Benitez possesses a sturdy defensive unit, who have impressed in the Championship. But questions remain if they can cut it week in week out in the Premier League.
There is Chancel Mbemba as well in the ranks, who was totally at home in the Premier League last season. However, he has surprisingly found himself on the fringes this season. With his reduced involvement, he might do well by seeking a move away from the club. This is where bringing in Maguire will prove beneficial for Newcastle.
With Maguire, they will be getting a player who has displayed that he can play at the level required in the top division. And given his age, he still has a long way to go and there is plenty of scope for development, which would sit well with the Magpies’ transfer policy.
With his contract set to expire in the summer of 2018, Hull will be under pressure to retain the player. If they slip down to Championship at the end of the season, it would prove to impossible to keep hold of Maguire. With Premier League football on offer and the stature of Newcastle United, it could turn out to be very hard for Maguire to turn down a move. And adding a young, English defender with experience in the top-flight could be extremely fruitful for Newcastle.