Yesterday’s cup game at Birmingham not only confirmed that we lack fight, creativity, and chemistry, but also some venom and threat.
As a prerequisite, these suggestions and analyses are purely opinionated on my behalf.
It was unfortunate that Aleksander Mitrović was injured early in the match, however it is speculated that his injury will not take too long to heal…
So we won’t need a short or long term replacement in a striker. In contrast, the absence of Jonjo Shelvey has shown us that creativity is an area we need to reinforce.
1. Alan Judge (Brentford) – My first suggestion for NUFC may seem strange considering we are aiming for the Premier league next season, however his creativity and playmaking cannot be denied at any level.
If he cannot continuously play at peak levels in the Premier league, his substitute appearances can easily fill in for Jonjo Shelvey if for some reason he is benched. Judge is a good choice, and is likely to join us.
2. Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea) – Although it seems Brighton have possibly signed him on loan for the remainder of the season, the deal has not been made yet.
Rafa Benitez can surely put in some last-minute deal sweeteners in the mix to get some creativity, speed, and great passing in our squad. His playing under the Spanish gaffer could greatly benefit Chelsea, or us depending on how we do the deal.
3. Youri Tielemans (Anderlecht) – Youri obviously has been catching the eyes of some of the greatest teams on the globe, but he has a great amount of time left in his career and he knows that playing under Rafa would exponentially develop his game, growth, and ability.
His youth and divisive passing would be greatly welcomed into the Toon… Something we lack when Jonjo isn’t around.
4. Will Hughes (Derby) – Hughes has been on our radar for a few years and is very similar to Youri Tielemans but may come at a higher price.
The advantages of Will are that he is more accustomed to the English game, is very young and will develop well, and can be played in the center or on the wing. His adaptability is a strength we could do with.
5. Anthony Knockaert (Brighton) – Anthony’s chance of signing to us is not only extremely unlikely, but also not a cheap transaction. Knockaert offers Jonjo Shelvey-like qualities from the wing.
He assists, and he scores. The Frenchman has a lot of stamina, and has a sturdy mental capacity (unlike Jonjo) that we need. His Championship experience, accustomed style to English play, and language abilities make for a quick integration into NUFC (which is already French saturated).
What do you think? Share your comments below.