Newcastle United Opinion: Magpies’ interest in Preston centre-back Ben Davies makes little sense
According to the Lancashire Evening Post, Newcastle United have been credited with an interest in Preston North End defender Ben Davies, with reports claiming that new Magpies manager Steve Bruce is a big admirer of the 23-year-old.
Bruce, who managed Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship last season, rates the centre-back very highly and he believes that Davies is more than capable of making the step up to the top-flight. (h/t Lancashire Evening Post)
However, the same report claims that the Magpies are yet to make any contact with Preston over a potential deal for the 23-year-old, who has established himself as one of the key players at Deepdale under Alex Neil.
Newcastle have been linked with a wide array of players from several European leagues over the past few days since the appointment of Bruce. The Magpies remain the only team so far in the Premier League to have not completed a single new signing this summer.
A few high-profile exits, though, have set the tone for new arrivals at Tyneside this summer, with the likes of Ayoze Perez, Mo Diame and Joselu leaving to join other clubs, whilst Salomon Rondon, Antonio Barreca and Robert Kenedy have returned to their parent clubs following the expiry of loan deals.
The Toon Army are currently mulling over moves for Southampton forward Charlie Austin while they have also been linked with a shock move to re-sign former academy graduate Andy Carroll, who is currently without a club following his release from West Ham. (h/t Sun)
While those rumours are likely to evoke mixed reactions from the fans, the St. James’ Park faithful have every reason to be excited regarding the club’s interest in Hoffenheim forward Joelinton, who is reportedly closing in on a club-record move to the north-east of England this summer. (h/t Chronicle Live)
To put things into perspective, Bruce needs to identify his priorities in the market and move quickly to get some deals over the line before the transfer deadline.
It is true that several areas of the squad, including the forward line, central midfield, as well as full-backs, need some strengthening this summer but one area that Newcastle do not need to invest in is their centre-back department.
Benitez brought in quite a few defensive reinforcements last summer to add depth and quality to the club’s backline and, as things currently stand, the Magpies are already very well-stocked in their options at the heart of the defence, with the likes of Florian Lejeune, Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schar, Federico Fernandez and Ciaran Clarke all in the ranks.
Add to that Paul Dummett, who can also fill in as a makeshift centre-back, and it is really hard to see why Newcastle should look for more depth in that particular area.
They should instead turn their attention to some dynamic offensive-minded full-backs in the market, given that Dummett, Yedlin and Javier Maquillo all lack the right kind of balance in their game.
Coming back to Ben Davies, he is certainly a talented player and at 23, there is still plenty of time for him to make significant improvements to his game.
A youth product of Preston, the centre-back has finally established himself as one of the mainstays of the backline at Deepdale over the past couple of campaigns after spending time on loan at York City, Tranmere Rovers, Fleetwood Town and Newport County, having made his first-team debut way back in January 2013 as a 17-year-old.
With all due respect to his talent and potential, a move to Tyneside would make little sense for the 23-year-old, given the abundance of defensive talent already in the club’s ranks, unless, of course, Steve Bruce is prepared to move a few players on and free up space for new arrivals.
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That, apparently, doesn’t seem to be on the cards because all the existing defenders at the club played their part perfectly well last season.
Hence, they might as well look to attend those areas of the squad which are in dire need of investment, especially the forward line and central midfield.