It has taken a little while, but world is leaking out through Preferred Media Partner The Mirror™ that Newcastle United are indeed looking at defenders in this transfer window. Well... at least a defender. In their latest transfer offering, they have suggested that the player acquisition firm of McClaren, Carr, and Charnley have set their sights on Brighton and Hove Albion center back Louis Dunk.
McClaren had apparently been keeping tabs on the 6' 4" Englishman when still the manager at Derby County and has carried that interest with him to St. James' Park. Last season Dunk started 38 matches in the middle for the Seagulls who narrowly avoided relegation. In truth, however, it was the struggle on the other end of the pitch that had Brighton in trouble. Contrary to their final 20th place league finish they shone on the defensive end tying for the 5th fewest goals allowed in the 24-team league. In fact, their struggles were such that Lewis Dunk – CB – was their leading scorer in all competitions (5 league goals, 1 [insert sponsor here] Cup, 1 FA Cup) and their second leading scorer in the Championship with only one fewer goal than on-loan midfielder João Carlos Teixiera. His 5 goals were two more than Brighton's leading striker, Sam Baldock, who notched a mighty 3 league goals. It bears noting as well that his haul of 5 league goals would have had him as Newcastle's third-leading scorer for 2014-15.
Valued at £5m, Dunk will be a test of Mike Ashley's New Attitude. He is still young enough (23 years old) to fit into the overall transfer philosophy but comes with the English Player Excise Tax that has pushed Newcastle into the foreign markets in recent years. Piecing together from what we can see on paper, it looks like this – even at the price – would be a good piece of business and an upgrade over Mike Williamson who is reported to be headed back to the Championship.