Newcastle United are keen on a summer move to Norwich City’s Todd Cantwell.
What’s the story?
According to EuroSport, the England U21 international has emerged as a target for the Toon Army as they look to introduce more creativity and drive from midfield.
Options were thought to have been limited in January – though Joe Willock did arrive on loan – but Norwich are understood to be willing to fight to keep their key stars as they close in on a return to the Premier League.
Would he be a good signing?
While Willock has looked impressive – particularly against Southampton on his debut when he scored and finished the game as his team’s most progressive runner (via FBRef) – the lack of energy and drive outside of the Arsenal loanee has been a problem all season.
Last season, Cantwell scored six times and registered two assists from deep in a side easily relegated, which matched Jonjo Shelvey’s tally and he finished top of the Magpies’ rankings in terms of goal contributions. With the obvious caveat that he’s currently playing a level below Newcastle, Cantwell has also averaged more in the way of progressive yards made while carrying the ball (109 yards) per game than all but two of Steve Bruce’s side, Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron.
With that in mind, he looks perfectly suited to bringing something different from deep.
Cantwell would be a good addition but, if we’re being totally honest, why would he be in much of a rush to leave Norwich for Newcastle?
That would usually sound like a crazy thing to say but this incarnation of the club has been described as a ‘hollow shell’ by Alan Shearer and the stalling takeover means Newcastle can’t exactly look forward to much of a future under Ashley given all we’ve seen since 2007.
That’s even without mentioning the fact Norwich could be playing a division above the Toon next season.
Right now, the focus must be on trying to stay in the Premier League and taking that seriously.