Newcastle United left-back, Jamal Lewis, is on the verge of making a season-long move to Watford on a loan deal, according to Adam Leventhal of The Athletic. After “two weeks” of ongoing discussions between the two clubs, a breakthrough has finally been achieved.
Eddie Howe, speaking from the club’s US tour and quoted by Leventhal in his story, confirmed that the deal will “probably be done in the next 24 hours.”
Leventhal also reports that “personal terms are understood to not be an issue,” although it is “unclear” whether the deal will include an option or obligation to buy at the end of the loan spell of Lewis at Watford on June 2024.
With Newcastle carrying three left-backs in their current roster—Dan Burn, Matt Targett, and Paul Dummett—Lewis always felt like the odd man out and a luxury option to keep around not worth staying in Newcastle while sitting on the bench on a weekly basis.
Lewis, a North Ireland left-back international, began his football journey at Luton Town before joining Norwich City’s Academy in 2014. He made his breakthrough at the latter club, and Newcastle signed him in the summer of 2020 after he had already reached the Premier League with Norwich by nearly €20m.
Despite showing some potential with the Magpies, he never was in a position where he could make the most of his chances as he steadily faced stout competition for minutes, let alone during the last year and a half and after the acquisition of Newcastle by their new Saudi owners.
PIF and Howe decided to purchase both Dan Burn and Matt Targett since their arrival to bolster the left-pack position, making Lewis a surplus not linked to the current regime and thus an easy sell for all parties involved and mostly those on the club side.
Lewis loan move to Watford aims to provide him with consistent playing time to further develop his career, and he’d actually do good moving there—or anywhere else, really—instead of stalling his development by staying at Newcastle in any capacity.