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Newcastle could unearth Stones 2.0 in Kell Watts

Newcastle United’s run of form has seen them keep three clean sheets in their last four games, and they most recently thumped Aston Villa 4-0 last weekend.

Much of this work is owed to Eddie Howe, who has recruited intelligently to add Dan Burn, Sven Botman, Kieran Trippier and Matt Targett to bolster their backline over the past two transfer windows.

However, the work already done with the likes of Fabian Schar is arguably the most impressive, as at times the Switzerland international has kept £35m summer signing Botman out of the starting line-up.

Perhaps now that the Magpies have a more solid standing in the Premier League once more, Howe could look to the academy for further improvements to his defensive ranks.

He need only look out on loan to find someone who might soon be pushing the current options, as Kell Watts seems to finally be returning to fitness whilst out at Peterborough United.

The 23-year-old seems to have settled as a centre-back recently, although his exploits for the Magpies’ under-18s – for whom he scored 12 times in 34 games – would hint at a more advanced role.

Should Kell Watts soon be given a chance?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Perhaps his time further up the pitch will have enhanced his skills with the ball at his feet, as defensively he seems mature and composed for his age. Despite having only played three times for the Posh, he has clearly been a massive coup for the League One side, boasting their second-best passing average at 87.5%.

Manager Grant McCann was quoted as claiming: “ He is 6ft 4, strong in the air and comfortable on the ball and is a left-sided centre back, so I am pleased we have managed to get it over the line. He has a really good pedigree and is an excellent defender.”

This is due to his role in Wigan Athletic’s promotion from League One last season, where he featured 26 times in this same division.

This composure and intelligence in possession could draw comparisons with John Stones, who for Manchester City has flourished into one of the Premier League’s best ball-playing defenders.

He too had to wait for his opportunity to arrive at Everton, and when it did he shone to the extent that the Cityzens were forced to splash out £47.5m for his services. The former Barnsley man has since featured 204 times for the English champions and turned out 59 times for his country.

Should Watts go on to enjoy half as good a career as the 28-year-old has had up to now, it would be a resounding success for Howe and Newcastle if they give him his chance at St James’ Park.

Article title: Newcastle could unearth Stones 2.0 in Kell Watts

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