Steve Bruce must urge Newcastle United to sign Leicester City midfielder Hamza Choudhury on loan during the January transfer window.
According to Sky Sports (Transfer Centre, 19/1, 13:42), Bruce is in the market for a new option for his engine room as the Toon boss feels like he is currently lacking a midfielder with the energy to control play at both ends of the field.
Newcastle would be expected to face strong competition should they move to sign Choudhury this month, and any deal for the former England U21 international is likely to go down to the wire.
The 23-year-old has fallen out of favour at the King Power Stadium this season after earning a career-high 20 outings in the Premier League last term, with Brendan Rodgers only calling on the Loughborough-born midfielder to play 70 minutes of top-flight football to date.
Rodgers has confirmed Leicester would prefer to sell Choudhury in the January transfer window if he is to leave the East Midlands outfit in search of more game time, as the loan offers received so far have not been attractive enough from a Foxes perspective.
Sam Allardyce is thought to have marked Choudhury as his top target for West Bromwich Albion to sign this month as, like Bruce, he strives to bring in a new midfielder.
The Leicester product also reportedly favours a move to The Hawthorns over Southampton or Newcastle as he feels he will be given the most playing time, while not having to relocate, per the Express and Star.
Bruce should do all he can to ensure Choudhury opts for a move to St. James’ Park by the end of the winter market by pushing Newcastle to have a package in place that will appeal to Leicester, as the Foxes outcast could be the ideal option to solve his midfield headache.
Choudhury may be out of favour in the Premier League this season, yet he has kept his fitness up with frequent minutes in the Europa League with Rodgers opting to rotate his options. But those chances will likely soon dwindle, as Leicester look to negotiate their way through the knockout stages.
That will, more probably than not, see Choudhury face the same situation as he does in the top-flight, where Rodgers has omitted the £7m-rated anchor from six matchday squads and left him as an unused substitute on 10 occasions and counting.
It was not that long ago that Rodgers was a firm advocate of Choudhury’s talents in the engine room and those sentiments were also echoed by former Crystal Palace striker Clinton Morrison, who told BBC Radio 5 Live: “What Choudhury gives you is that he can sniff out danger, he destroys it and can make a tackle, but he’s also really good on the ball.”
Choudhury reflected his Carabao Cup exploits over the 2019/20 Premier League season with 1.2 interceptions and 0.8 successful tackles a game. Those numbers would suggest he can provide Bruce with strong depth as Isaac Hayden (1.85) and Matty Longstaff (1.4) are the sole members of his current unit who break up opposition play more often this term, per SofaScore.
His ability to be the box-to-box presence may not be as strong, with Choudhury rarely carrying possession up the field with just 0.1 successful dribbles a game last season. But his defensive prowess may better free Jonjo Shelvey, who ranks second only to Matt Ritchie (1.63) for key passes (1.2).
AND in other news, Newcastle face heightened competition for a £2.7m target…