Newcastle United Prioritise Signing Chelsea Ace: The Player Their Midfield Needs?

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Newcastle United are reportedly lining up a move for Chelsea outcast Ross Barkley this summer. 

According to The Athletic, an attacking midfielder is on Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce’s wishlist, with Barkley emerging as a top priority.

The 27-year-old was once considered one of the brightest prospects in English football, but his progress has been hampered by a series of injuries that have seen him fall off the radar.

Barkley spent the previous season on loan at Aston Villa, where he rekindled some of his best form. He was instrumental in their 11th-place finish, scoring three goals and providing one assist in 26 league appearances.

Despite his recent resurgence, he is unlikely to be a part of Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel’s plans this summer and is expected to be shipped out.

The England international, who joined Chelsea from Everton in 2018, has two years left on his current deal.

Is Chelsea’s Ross Barkley the perfect addition to Newcastle United’s midfield?

Newcastle United are looking to bolster their midfield in an attempt to build on their 12th-place finish last season. Steve Bruce has admitted his side are short on quality in the middle of the park and need to strengthen in the summer.

“We’re very, very short. It’s something we need to address [but] it’s going to be very, very slow in terms of the transfer market. It’s difficult for everybody at the moment,” Bruce said.

Newcastle’s current central midfield options are Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden, Sean Longstaff and Jeff Hendrick, none of whom offer too much going forward. Thus, a move for Barkley would make sense.

The 27-year-old does not have a future at Chelsea, having fallen below the likes of Mason Mount, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, and Mateo Kovacic in the pecking order. A move to Newcastle United could help him resurrect his career.

Barkley will add plenty of power, technique and experience to the Newcastle midfield. The England international’s athleticism and physicality make him extremely hard to dispossess. He has great technical ability and can dribble past defenders, driving his side up the field.

He also has great vision and can pick out his teammates with pinpoint passes. Last season, Barkley averaged 1.6 key passes and 1.2 dribbles per game, and had a pass success rate of close to 85%.

He is also capable of chipping in with goals from midfield, which would ease some of the burden on Callum Wilson.

Newcastle United might not have the funds for a permanent deal, but a loan move would be a no-brainer. However, they could face competition for the England international’s services from West Ham and Everton.

Stats via Whoscored

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