Why Steve McClaren must add defensive reinforcements on Tyneside
Newcastle finally completed a deal for highly rated Anderlecht defender Chancel Mbemba this week and after the jokes about the 20-year-old’s penchant for a birthday die down, it becomes clear that he is nowhere near enough to repair a creaky defence.
The Toon conceded 63 goals last season, only relegated Queens Park Rangers were breached more, a harrowing stat for Geordies everywhere.
It’s the issues at the centre of defence that are cause for concern. Look to the flanks and in Daryl Janmaat they have a superb right back that shouldn’t have found himself fighting relegation, and to the left Massadio Haidara looks to have bags of potential
It’s in the middle where it all gets a bit flimsy at St James’ Park. Fabricio Coloccini had been a model of consistency up until last term when he seemed to suffer from the toxic attitude around the club as his performances took a nosedive.
Mike Williamson is a constant stream of annoyance for the Newcastle faithful and a constant provider of hilarity for the opposition. Simply put, the 31-year-old has struggled ever since the team’s re-emergence back into the top flight and he is not good enough to form the spine of an outfit that will be gunning for at least the top 10, a feat they are 5/2 to achieve.
Paul Dummett is a local boy but the chances of him going on to be revered in years to come look slim, he is a steady deputy but little more, while Steven Taylor has struggled massively with injuries and form in recent seasons.
A man McClaren may look to in order to sure up his backline is Jonny Evans. The Northern Irishman’s experience would be a valuable asset, while it is clear that he will be well down the pecking order at Old Trafford. The Newcastle boss has obvious links to Manchester United and if a deal can be done he could do a lot worse.
The Geordie faithful have been appeased by attacking additions so far this summer but it would be sheer ignorance to ignore the other end of the pitch.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £50 in free bets.