A big Newcastle United transfer update has emerged regarding Jamal Lewis’ short-term future at St James’ Park.
Telegraph journalist Luke Edwards has revealed that the Northern Ireland international is set to leave the club in the coming days.
He tweeted: “I believe Jamal Lewis will be heading abroad on loan after he was left out of #nufc 25 man squad.”
Eddie Howe will surely be buzzing with this news, as it means that he gets the best of both worlds in the second half of the season in regards to the left-back position.
Matt Targett has joined on loan from Aston Villa and could nail down the spot as his own in the coming weeks and months. He has a career average WhoScored rating of 6.90, playing more than 100 matches in the Premier League for Southampton and Villa combined.
This shows that he has the ability to perform to a high standard consistently over the course of a top-flight campaign, which is why he could be a strong addition to Howe’s squad. The 26-year-old could help the Magpies in their bid to avoid relegation, whilst 32-year-old Matt Ritchie – who may not be able to develop much further at his age – will be able to provide backup to the Englishman.
Meanwhile, sending Lewis out on loan will allow him to improve by playing regular football elsewhere. Instead of competing with Targett and potentially being on the bench most weeks, he could be able to start games week in, week out in another European league.
This could benefit the 24-year-old’s development by giving him the experience he needs to come back to Newcastle in the summer and make a real fist of winning his place in the team for Premier League games. Howe will therefore be buzzing as it means that all three of his left-back options could be in ideal situations for where they need to be, given their respective ages and profiles.
It would have been hugely frustrating for everyone involved if Lewis was left out of the 25-man Newcastle squad and then remained at the club instead of heading out on loan. The defender would have been left twiddling his thumbs for months and it could have been detrimental to his growth as a player, which is another reason why the ex-Cherries coach will be delighted with the news that the left-back is set to leave on loan.