Why Newcastle United should reignite their interest in Markus Henriksen
Henriksen, who was then serving as the club-captain under former Tigers’ manager Nigel Adkins, was set to be out of contract at the end of the previous campaign but the East Yorkshire outfit opted to tie him down to a fresh one-year extension, thus effectively ending Newcastle’s chances of signing him.
However, according to a recent report from Hull Daily Mail, Henriksen has turned down an offer to extend his stay at the KCOM Stadium beyond the end of the ongoing season, with the 27-year-old central midfielder set to be available for free next summer.
Stripped of the captaincy and overlooked by new manager Grant McCann for the first eleven Championship fixtures this term, Henriksen is currently lost in the cold at Hull City and such acrimonious circumstances certainly point to an exit in January, although the Norwegian might choose to play out his contract and move on for free at the end of the season.
To that end, Newcastle United should consider reigniting their interest in Markus Henriksen in a bid to solve a nagging issue in a key area of the pitch.
Central midfield is one area where a lot of quality depth is desirable and going back in the market for the Norwegian could provide Steve Bruce with some much-needed experience and leadership in the middle of the park.
Despite splashing the cash to bolster their attack in the summer with marquee signings Joelinton and Allan Sanit-Maximin, the Magpies have largely endured a disappointing start to the campaign, albeit shock victories over Man United and Spurs have given the fans something to cheer about.
Newcastle’s ineptitude in retaining possession has been quite ridiculous, with the Magpies very much languishing at the bottom when it comes to the average possession percentages of the teams in the Premier League this season.
There has hardly been any cohesion and creativity in the midfield to complement some dogged defensive work and, if the first few games are anything to go by, Newcastle still have plenty of gaps to plug if they are really serious about building a quality team.
Central midfield is one area where the Magpies have left much to desire, especially in terms of holding on to the ball and building the play, despite the likes of Isaac Hayden and the Longstaff brothers putting in some gritty tough-tackling displays to thwart the opposition.
Suffice to say, Newcastle have shown plenty of tenacity and enthusiasm in the middle of the park but they have lacked that much-needed quality in terms of picking out the right passes and spreading the play to get the forward-minded players involved in the game.
Jonjo Shelvey is perhaps the sole midfield personnel in the ranks with a bit of finesse and quality in his game but he seems to have lost that X-Factor in his game, whilst Ki Sung-yueng is only a marginalised figure in the squad.
With that in mind, it should be a no-brainer for the Magpies to capitalise on Henriksen’s contract situation at Hull City, as the Norwegian’s arrival could go a long way towards adding another dimension to Newcastle’s midfield.
The 27-year-old not only has a wealth of experience from his playing days at Rosenborg, AZ Alkmaar and Hull City but he also seems to have that all-round game, as well as the calmness and the leadership skills, to make a telling difference at Tyneside.
Looking at things from the player’s perspective, a move to Newcastle should be a big step forward in his career and the prospect of impressing in the Premier League is likely to appeal to the 27-year-old, who has made his intentions of departing the KCOM Stadium very clear.
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Plus. the Norwegian’s problematic situation means that the Tigers are likely to sell him for a bargain amount in January should Newcastle come knocking on the door for his services.
All in all, Markus Henriksen and Newcastle could prove to be a match made in heaven if the Magpies do go ahead and reignite their interest in the midfielder.