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Newcastle United are plotting a double raid on Everton, as they are looking to sign striker Oumar Niasse and midfielder James McCarthy this summer.
The Sun claims that Rafael Benitez is considering Niasse as a possible option to solve his centre-forward woes, but that he faces competition from a number of other Premier League clubs including fellow promotion winners Brighton & Hove Albion. And a report from the Daily Mail states that the Tyneside outfit are set to rekindle their interest in McCarthy, after having seen a bid rejected in January earlier this year.
After a very slow start to the summer, Newcastle are certainly looking to kick on their transfer activity as the season kick-off nears. In the past fortnight, they have completed the transfers of Mikel Merino, Jacob Murphy and Javier Manquillo, to add to the early arrivals of Christian Atsu and Florian Lejeune. But the manager has made it no secret that he wants to bring in more new faces before the season begins.
Having already sold Daryl Murphy in the summer and with Aleksandar Mitrovic also likely to be shipped out, amid interest from Ligue1 clubs, bringing in a new striker will be of top priority for the Tynesiders. Niasse was brought in by Everton in January 2016 by former manager Roberto Martinez, but he failed to cement a place in the side following Ronald Koeman’s appointment.
Having spent the first-half of the season training with the reserves, the striker was sent out on loan to Hull City, where he had a decent spell. The 27-year old scored 5 times in 18 games for the Tigers, indicating that he can be a good option to have, if backed by the manager. He is strong and burly and also possesses a deceptive turn of pace, making him a threat up top.
Niasse may not be the most popular of the options among the fans, but he is someone who will get the job done when provided with opportunities and will also offer a much different threat to what Dwight Gayle will bring.
McCarthy, on the other hand, has had promising spells under both Martinez and Koeman at Everton, but it his injury issues that seem to have pushed him down the pecking order at the club. With the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin, Idrissa Gueye, Tom Davies and Gareth Barry all ahead of him and the arrival of Davy Klaassen along with the return of Muhamed Besic to fitness would mean rare chances coming McCarthy’s way. And with the FIFA World Cup fast approaching, no player would want to be warming the benches and risk losing a spot in the squad for Russia.
McCarthy is someone who has proven himself in the Premier League for a number of years now, with Wigan Athletic and Everton. He will provide a powerful presence in the middle of the park and can be an ideal option to have for Newcastle, considering their lack of a backup option for Jonjo Shelvey or even partner the former Liverpool man in the midfield.
At 26 years of age, he is at a point where he will be entering the best phase of his career. It is no secret that Rafa rates the Republic of Ireland international highly and had even made an approach in January in order to sign him.
There is no question that Newcastle need serious reinforcements in both areas of the pitch and in Niasse and McCarthy, they will be getting proven players who have the ability to make the overall quality of their squad better and stronger. A double deal will work well for both Newcastle and the players. Everton too wouldn’t be shy from selling, in order to balance the books after their summer investment. Over to you Rafa!