Newcastle United opinion: Should the Magpies go for Joe Bryan?
Newcastle United’s issues this season have been prominent but the addition of Miguel Almiron has turned things around. A club-record signing from the MLS (Guardian), the 25-year-old has brought about hope and an injection of creativity that the Magpies have missed all season.
Yet, their luck with injuries and various other issues could still put them in trouble at the end of the season. At the moment, Rafael Benitez and company sit in 13th place with 35 points to their name but they are only seven points above relegation.
The club are on a decent run, having won three out of their last five games, with just one loss. Yet, despite all that positivity, the Magpies struggle with depth.
They have no second left-back to back up Paul Dummett while Javier Manquillo has struggled when called upon. Sean Longstaff’s season-ending injury too has changed things.
The 21-year-old was in fine form before the injury, but it was met with the timely return of Ki Sung-Yeung from an injury. Hence, Newcastle United need reinforcements in the summer and one man they must target is Joe Bryan.
The Fulham left-back has adjusted brilliantly to the Premier League, unlike his side who are all but relegated. At the moment, the Cottagers sit at 19th place, having lost nine of their last ten Premier League games.
However, Bryan has been a bright spark after his move from Bristol City after rejecting a chance to sign for Aston Vila (Football London).
A very physical left-back, the 25-year-old is versatile enough to play as a midfielder as well, but his preferred position is as a left-back. That combined with his defensive nuance make him a great move for Newcastle United.
For a struggling Fulham, Bryan has averaged 2 tackles, 1.3 interceptions, 2.8 clearances and has only conceded 0.9 fouls per game according to Whoscored. This shows just how solid a defender Bryan is, but that’s not where his weakness lies.
It’s his offensive ability that lets him down, with the 25-year-old struggling to take on the Premier League defenders. However, the fact that he’s playing for a struggling Fulham could be the reason.
At Bristol, the left-back was a force of nature, finishing his final season with seven goals and three assists to his name.
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If Newcastle United keep this form going until the very last week of the season, then their status as a Premier League club would be all but confirmed. However, if they want to survive or even thrive next season, then they’ll have to add Joe Bryan among others.
The 25-year-old has already shown his adaptability and skills in his first season, and it’s up to the Magpies to make full use of it.