Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce is eyeing a cut-price January swoop for Nottingham Forest centre back Joe Worrall, according to The Sun.
The newspaper claims that the Magpies boss is eager to sort out his leaky defence and is making that a priority for the winter transfer window.
Worrall has come to his attention after starring for Nottingham Forest in their strong start to the Championship season. Bruce is thought to be a big admirer of the 22-year-old.
The Englishman was a regular for British giants Rangers during a loan spell at Ibrox last season, but has previously refused to leave his boyhood club Forest for a Premier League move.
Obviously Worrall, at just 22 years of age, has bags of potential. However, for a Newcastle side that will undoubtedly be in a relegation battle this campaign, the question is whether he is good enough right now to sort out this porous Magpies backline? The answer to that remains uncertain at this time. He’s started off the season excellently with Forest, but his time in Scotland was a bit up and down. However, statistics can shed some light on where he stands in comparison to Bruce’s three starting centre backs at St James’ Park: Fabian Schar, Jamaal Lascelles and Paul Dummett. As per WhoScored.com, the youngster is averaging far fewer tackles and interceptions per game than his Newcastle counterparts, although his clearances and blocks tallies are right up there with the top flight stars. What’s noticeable, though, is that his average WhoScored rating per outing is higher, at 6.96, than any of the Newcastle men. It’s difficult to say at this point whether he can make the step up to the Premier League but, besides, he might not want to leave a good thing at Forest for a sinking ship on Tyneside.