Journalist Dean Jones has claimed that Newcastle United may look at Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Conor Gallagher in the next transfer window.
Why could Newcastle move for Loftus-Cheek and Gallagher?
The heavy transfer activity over the last two windows at Stamford Bridge has seen an astonishing 16 players arrive in west London amid an outlay of over £500m – and this could reduce opportunities for the likes of the English pair.
The record arrival of Enzo Fernandez at Chelsea in particular could mean that Loftus-Cheek and Gallagher both face a reduction in their game time, and could be open to a transfer to find first-team football.
Both midfielders may be of interest to Newcastle as they look set to return to European football for the first time in over 10 years, and were linked with potential January moves to Tyneside earlier this year.
Are Newcastle now short of options in midfield?
Speaking to Football FanCast, Jones claimed that the club may assess their availability for a summer transfer as they fit the current strategy implemented by Eddie Howe at St James’ Park.
He said: “They will look into their situations to see if they‘re gettable because they fit what the club are looking for at the moment as they evolve.
“It’d be interesting to see which route they go down, but it doesn’t necessarily mean Newcastle have to spend big money in that position.”
What could RLC and Gallagher bring to Newcastle?
With Jonjo Shelvey joining Nottingham Forest in January, the Magpies are now light in midfield, with Sean Longstaff the main option to cover Joelinton, Joe Willock and Bruno Guimaraes in Eddie Howe’s preferred midfield three.
Whilst Gallagher and Loftus-Cheek could be very strong options, Gallagher may particularly come at a high price, with Everton reportedly bidding as high as £45m for the 22-year-old in January.
Willock ranks higher than Gallagher in goals, assists, progressive carries and attacking penalty area touches as per FBref, whilst they are level for blocks. If Gallagher was to join, he would not provide the same goal threat as Willock and may not displace him from the starting XI if he was unable to improve upon these on Tyneside.
Loftus-Cheek could provide a more physical option, as he ranks higher than both for progressive carries and aerial duels, and with his contract running out in 2024, he could be available for a lower price and may therefore be a more attractive option than his teammate.
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