As a move for Swansea’s Neil Taylor fell through and Jose Enrique is still likely to move on this summer, especially following his outburst on Twitter, the question is: which left back will Newcastle go after. According to the Newcastle Chronicle, Alan Pardew has drawn up a shortlist of three. These are Stephen Warnock, Nicky Shorey and a man much talked about in regards to a move to Newcastle in recent weeks; Wayne Bridge. Uninspiring is the first word that comes to mind, but would any of these men be fit to replace Enrique?
Stephen Warnock is the man I would rate most highly out of the trio. Part of England’s squad at the 2010 World Cup, Warnock is a very solid performer. I was slightly surprised when I saw that he was 29, I thought he might be younger, but then he does have nearly a decade of Premier League experience under his belt at Liverpool, Blackburn and Villa. Warnock was somewhat out of favour under Gerard Houllier last season, but with new boss Alex McLeish indicating he’d reinstall the England international at left back, it has to be asked whether Warnock would want to leave Villa Park?
Next up it’s Nicky Shorey. A bit left field, if you’ll excuse the pun, Shorey has been around the block a bit recently. After spending most of the early part of his career at Reading, Shorey then also moved to Aston Villa, before loan spells at Nottingham Forest and Fulham. Shorey then signed for then newly promoted West Brom last season, and featured in more than half of their Premier League appearances. The 30 year old has also played for England, although it was a while back now, and I really can’t see a move to St James’ Park as a starter.
Finally there’s Wayne Bridge. This seems the most likely of Newcastle transfers, but not necessarily the most preferable. Out of the three he has the best CV, but the left back’s career seems to be on something of a downward trend. The 30 year old, soon to be 31, is back at Manchester City after being relegated with West Ham while on loan last season, and was far from impressive. Bridge certainly has a great pedigree though, and maybe Newcastle could be the perfect club for him to resurrect his career?
Newcastle aren’t exactly scraping the bottom of the barrel as far as these men are concerned, but they’re not eye-catching targets. However, beggars can’t be choosers and none of them would be terrible signings. Warnock would be the most exciting of the three, but Bridge is probably the most likely, and then there’s Shorey – possibly best to steer clear. So what’s the solution? I reckon it’s to do all you can to convince Jose Enrique to stay, as the Spaniard really is a class apart.
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