Why Newcastle United should move for Joe Worrall in January
Worrall has been on the radar of Crystal Palace and Burnley in the recent past and while he previously opted to stay put at his boyhood club, there is a good chance that Newcastle might be successful in their efforts to bring him to the top-flight, with his contract at the City Ground set to expire next summer. (h/t Sun)
The talented centre-back rose through the youth ranks at the City Ground before making his senior professional bow in the 2016-17 season.
Having featured 21 times in all competitions in his debut season, Worrall made a total of 35 appearances in the following campaign but he was loaned out to Rangers by former manager Aitor Karanka prior to the start of the 2018-19 season.
Worrall’s loan stint at Ibrox proved to be a fruitful one as the highly-rated Forest academy graduate made 32 appearances for Steven Gerrard’s side north of the border last season.
The 22-year-old has grabbed his opportunities with both hands after returning to the City Ground earlier in the summer, with new manager Sabri Lamouchi offering him a new lease of life to help him re-establish himself in the first-team fold at his boyhood club.
The towering 6ft 4in centre-back has started each of the Reds’ first eleven games in the Championship this term, playing a key role at the back to guide Forest to second place in the standings, just behind leaders West Brom on goal difference.
Nottingham Forest have laid down an early marker as one of the promotion hopefuls after a stellar start to the campaign under Lamouchi and Worrall’s reinstatement in the team has, indeed, made a telling difference, with the Reds conceding only 9 goals so far.
The captain of the England U-20 side that lifted the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup, Joe Worrall is held in high regard by the City Ground faithful but his unresolved contract situation means that the Reds currently face the risk of losing out on the services of one of their most talented players.
To put things into perspective, Newcastle United should look to capitalise on Worrall’s situation at the City Ground and make an approach to land him for a cut-price fee in January, by which time he would be having only six months left to run on his current contract.
The Magpies have shipped 11 goals in the Premier League so far, which is certainly on the higher side as compared to the 5 goals that they have scored in their first 8 games.
Newcastle breathed life into their campaign with a shock 1-0 victory over Man United on Sunday, adding another big-six scalp to their cap after a victory over Spurs earlier in the season.
Despite that, however, one does get the feeling that Bruce needs to make a few more additions in January to freshen up things and hopefully avoid relegation fears, which have already started to loom large after an unimpressive start to the campaign.
While reinforcements in central midfield and up top should once again be a priority in January, bringing in a talented young centre-back like Joe Worrall might also prove handy for the Magpies.
Florian Lejeune has struggled with injuries over the course of his two years at St. James’ Park and Federico Fernandez has only played a bit-part role in the team since his move from Swansea City last summer, while Ciaran Clark is pretty much a marginalised figure these days.
Jamaal Lascelles and Fabian Schar have done exceedingly well but Worrall apparently has the talent to increase competition for places at the back, whilst also providing some valuable cover to prevent a potential burn out at some point of time, given that a few other defenders in the squad are not in great shape at the moment.
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Worrall is still very young for a centre-back at the age of 22, especially at the Premier League level but he is only going to get better with time, meaning that completing a move for the Forest academy graduate in January could possibly see Newcastle reap rich rewards in the years to come.