The goalkeeper and centre-back will be loaned back to the City Ground for next season to continue their development under new manager Stuart Pearce, but allegedly signed for around £3million apiece, the deal represents wise investment from the Magpies.
It also demonstrates that the Championship is still capable of producing impressive young players, bucking the current Premier League trend of sourcing cheap talent from abroad.
And with that in mind, we at FootballFancast have listed SIX hotshots from the second tier, all young, gifted and bursting with potential, that Newcastle should look to also get their hands on…
Blackburn Rovers midfielder Tom Cairney has been earning rave reviews for some time – in no small part due to an impressive return of five goals and six assists in 37 appearances last season, earning him the Player of the Year award at Ewood Park. Here’s a look at some of his highlights from last term:
He also recorded the second-best pass success rate in the Championship:
And the 23 year-old will have done his profile no harm with a Man of the Match performance against Cardiff City during the opening fixture of the 2014/15 campaign last Friday, the details of which are viewable below:
And the display was tipped off by this impressive strike:
Having only officially signed for Rovers in January for a £500k fee after impressing on loan from Hull City, it’s unlikely the former Scotland U21 can be prised away from the Lancashire outfit in the current window.
But Premier League sides won’t be able to overlook Cairney’s proficient form much longer and he could become available in January if Blackburn’s promotion chances have taken a significant hit.
The 20 year-old struggled for fitness and form last season amid a year of relentless turmoil at Elland Road, but the 2012-13 campaign saw him burst onto the scene with this incredible goal against Oxford City in the League Cup:
He went on to net three times in 44 league appearances and claim a host of awards, including the Players’ Player of the Year, Fans’ Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year and Leeds Supporters’ Club Player of the Year.
Impressive stuff from the right-back-come-winger, whom many have compared in style to Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale. He was impressive against Millwall at the weekend too despite the Whites succumbing to a 2-0 defeat, as detailed below:
Newcastle are currently short of depth in the right-back department and Byram would be a perfect understudy to summer signing Daryl Janmaat.
But the Magpies are by no means the only top flight side interested in the youngster and Leeds appear in no mood to sell, having recently rejected a bid from Southampton:
— Express Football (@ExpressFootball) August 9, 2014
Indeed, the 19 year-old is an impressive talent, having been at the heart of the Rams’ promotion bid last season that saw them reach the play-off final. As viewable below, his contribution along the way was vital:
The central midfielder is a rare breed of young Englishman. He offers continential quality on the ball and an entrenched desire to retain possession, leaving him with one of the best pass success rates in the second tier last term:
Here’s some of the England U20’s highlights from the 2013/14 campaign, which saw him claim the Football League Young Player of the Year award:
But Hughes’ vast potential is no secret. He’s been rated as highly as £12million in the past, with suitors including Manchester United, Liverpool and Everton.
Furthermore, with Derby tipped to dominate the Championship this season, it’s likely the young midfielder would prefer to stay at Pride Park.
Newcastle’s strike-force still requires strengthening despite the recent signings of Emmanuel Riviere and Facundo Ferreyra, which in turn could thrust them into the hands of Watford assassin Troy Deeney.
The 26 year-old bagged 24 goals last term, leaving him as the Championship’s third-top scorer, as seen below:
And who can forget this extraordinary sequence of events against Leicester at the end of the 2012/13 campaign, securing the Hornets a place in the second-tier Play-offs:
This wonder strike against Charlton Athletic last season wasn’t too bad either…
Overall, the former Walsall star has claimed 55 goals in his last 128 Championship outings, and got the 2014/15 campaign off to a flyer with this eloquent lob against Bolton last weekend:
A robust striker with an ever-clichéd ‘big bum’, the 6 foot forward would suit Newcastle’s direct style well.
Furthermore, the Hornets have already set their asking price for Deeney – a more than reasonable £8million.
Newcastle were chaotic at centre-back last season with a number of injuries and organisational problems throughout. Jamaal Lascelles is undoubtedly a long-term solution but the Tyneside club should also be looking at Fulham youngster Dan Burn.
The 22 year-old was one of the best defenders in the Championship last season, thoroughly impressing during a six-month loan spell with Birmingham before being recalled by the London side, with Whoscored.com rating him as the second-best player in the entire division:
He then went on to put in a number of promising displays despite Fulham failing to beat the drop, the vitals of which are detailed below:
Aerial dominance is a huge part of the former Darlington youngster’s game, measuring in at an incredible 6 foot 7!
Furthermore, despite Felix Magath fielding a side almost entirely consisting of youngsters against Ipswich at the weekend:
…Burn was only issued a spot on the bench, suggesting the Cottagers could be tempted into selling him this summer.
The last few seasons have been a real rollercoaster for former St. Etienne striker Bakary Sako. Since joining Wolves in summer 2012 for £4million, the Molineux outfit have plummeted into League One and bounced their way back up again.
But throughout, the former France U21’s quality has not been doubted, finding 21 goals in 80 league appearances from his winger-forward role. This net-buster against Sheffield United particularly stood out:
That includes twelve goals last season, some of which are absolute worldies, all viewable in the below video:
The 26 year-old is quick, powerful and always looking to find the net. They’re pretty strong requisites for the top flight and the Daily Mail have listed him as one of ten Football League stars the Premier League should be monitoring this summer.
Now would be a good time for Wolves to make back their original investment, but Kenny Jacket appears determined to hold onto the Mali international this summer:
Sako will stay at Wolves: Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Kenny Jackett has said that he wants Bakary Sako to … http://t.co/HH291q2FGZ
— Football Rumours (@TransfRumours) July 9, 2014