Matt Targett is expected to make his move to Newcastle United permanent in the summer, according to The Daily Mail.
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One of two signings who arrived on deadline day as Newcastle United desperately tried to strengthen their defence, the 26-year-old has adapted to life on Tyneside very well indeed.
Praised by Eddie Howe for his early performances, Targett is yet to lose in black and white, playing in every minute of the games he’s been available for. In fact, the only game he’s not played in was the win over parent club Aston Villa last month, with the former Southampton defender looking as if he’s made that starting berth at left-back his own.
With Villa having signed Lucas Digne, manager Steven Gerrard is reportedly happy to allow Targett to leave in a permanent deal that could cost around £15m.
According to SpotRac, his contract is worth in the region of £35k-per-week.
How well has Targett played for Newcastle?
These are early days of course but Targett has looked like a major upgrade on both Jamal Lewis and Matt Ritchie.
Perhaps Newcastle will look to further strengthen in the left-back department in the summer during their first extended trading period under the PIF ownership, although Targett would appear to have a long-term future.
As per WhoScored data, no one at the club has averaged more key passes per game (2.3) while he also ranks within the top four in the squad for interceptions over the same period (1.4). FBREF data, meanwhile, notes only three players have averaged more passes per game into the final third in Newcastle colours this season (3.25).
Granted, his four games offer a relatively small sample size but, for what Newcastle need in the short-term, Targett has been an excellent addition.
What has Eddie Howe said about Targett?
Speaking after the impressive draw away at West Ham, Howe moved to praise the loan signing.
“I think in the two performances he’s given, he’s been very, very confident and slipped into the team very impressively,” he said (via The Chronicle).
“He used the ball well, I thought he attacked well.
“He put a lot of balls in the box, and just his general, all-round game, his defending was of the highest level, in my opinion.”