One of the tougher sales Newcastle made following relegation was sending Andros Townsend to Crystal Palace. He had arrived from Tottenham less than six months earlier before his July move to what is now Sam Allardyce’s side.
Townsend was one of the few bright spots on a disappointing Newcastle team a year ago. He scored four goals and tallied two assists in his 13 Premier League appearances for the Magpies.
Now, rumors continue to swirl linking Townsend with a move back to Tyneside again about six months after he was last sold. The Daily Mail reported that Rafa Benitez is interested in discussing a potential return with Palace if they are willing to sell. Townsend moved for a £13 million fee last time around and you would have to assume that Newcastle would have to pay something in the same region to secure a deal.
There has been a lot of dissent on a potential return for Townsend from Newcastle fans. He has been in very poor form this season for Palace, scoring just once in 24 appearances and registering only one assist. He is not featuring quite as much in the Palace first team either as he has been subbed off in each of the club’s last five Premier League matches.
Beyond the poor form, Townsend seems to be snatching at chances. His confidence is clearly low. According to ESPNFC.com, Townsend has taken 45 shots this season with Palace, but only directing 9 of them towards goal. When only 20 percent of your shots are even on target, there is clearly something wrong with your game.
However, I truly think that Benitez and Newcastle could turn the English internationals form around. He played brilliantly a year ago under the Magpies’ skipper and proved to be much more efficient when shooting with 53 percent of his shots working the keeper. He is familiar in the system Benitez uses and clearly fills a major need in the Newcastle starting lineup.
Despite his recent poor form at Palace, I think bringing back Townsend would be an excellent move for Newcastle, assuming they stay in a similar price range for what they sold him for. He would provide a spark of creativity as a winger and bolster the team’s chances of promotion. On top of that, his experience in the Premier League makes him a useful piece to next year’s team if promotion is achieved.