As per one of the latest reports by The Guardian, Newcastle United are in hot pursuit of Bristol City defender, Joe Bryan. Apart from the Magpies, Everton and Brighton & Hove Albion are also keenly monitoring him as reported by the Bristol Post.
Newcastle have been pretty inconsistent this season and are placed 15th in the league table with 23 points from 24 league outings. Their return to the top flight was never going to be easy considering Mike Ashley’s refusal to spend on proven players, so Rafa will have to muster all his managerial ability to keep them in the league. The Toon are merely one point above the relegation zone and given that the second half of the season is expected to throw more animosity, they must beef up their squad strength.
Their apparent interest in signing Bryan makes perfect sense. He is someone who has been sending ripples in the Championship this season. Having emerged through the youth ranks of the Robins, he was shipped out on loan to Bath City and Plymouth Argyle to acquire some and then make a mark in the senior Bristol City senior team.
So far this season, the Englishman has scored 2 goals and has also mustered 2 assists. He has also managed to make 3 tackles, 1.7 interceptions, 3.2 clearances and 0.3 blocks per game on an average which is precisely why quite a few Premier League clubs have placed him on their radar.
Predominantly a left-back, he is capable of plying his trade as a wing-back as well as a left winger and his versatility should appeal to a lot of clubs. He contributes to the defensive aspects of his side and more often than not, he is found galloping forward to engineer goal-scoring opportunities for his teammates up front.
Given that Bristol City are in the race for promotion, currently placed 5th spot in the Championship table, the club might be reluctant to let him this, at least in this transfer window as he is a key asset for them. Given he is still only 24, a move to the Premier League might not be the best of options as he still needs a bit of development. He needs to be playing regularly as well, something Newcastle might not be able to guarantee.
Statistics Credits: WhoScored