It emerged on Wednesday that Newcastle United have indeed lodged a bid of £8 million for Norwich City starlet Jacob Murphy, only to have it rejected by the Canaries, who are said to be demanding double the price.
However, crucially the player himself is said to be very keen on a move to the North East. He is a boyhood Newcastle fan. A picture of Jacob and his twin brother Josh is currently doing the rounds on social media. He has also made reference to the Magpies by calling them “My team” in the past. Clearly, his love for Newcastle will play a vital factor in any potential move.
So, what would Newcastle be getting if they were to secure a deal for the young Englishman?
At 22, his best years are undoubtedly ahead of him, but last season, he really caught the eye in the Championship. Although his club’s form was hit and miss for large parts of the campaign, Murphy was easily one of the brightest sparks of their season. He bagged 9 goals across all competitions, and provided 8 assists as well.
He also alerted Premier League clubs to his ability during the Euro U-21 Championship tournament this summer, where he scored against Poland and showed much more defensive qualities of his game.
He may be small in stature and slight in figure, but he has shown that he is by no means lacking in strength. Of course, what really stands out about him is that he is gifted with exceptional pace and agility. He likes to take on full-backs and is capable driving down either flank, but can also cut inside to open up shooting opportunities.
He is by no means the finished article, but clearly Benitez sees a real chance of developing him as a player. If the deal was to be completed for anything between £10-15 million, it would probably be a good deal for both parties. Whilst it does seem to be a hefty price for someone that has never played in the top-flight, it has become the going rate during this transfer window.
The way I see it is this: Jacob Murphy is a young, talented footballer that is desperate to play for Newcastle. He is better than Yoan Gouffran. He will get better.
Over to you, Mr Charnley.