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Newcastle: Imagine Joelinton and Scott McTominay together

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe arrived at St James’ Park last season after PIF’s takeover and comfortably guided the Magpies to safety in the Premier League.

One of his biggest masterstrokes since taking the job came in November when he opted to trial Joelinton in central midfield after Ciaran Clark’s sending-off against Norwich forced a formation change.

The 26-year-old has gone from strength to strength since that night and ended the 2021/22 campaign by winning the club’s Player of the Season award.

The Brazilian has carried that form into the current campaign and caught the eye as he was sensational in the 3-3 draw against champions Manchester City last weekend.

Dan Ashworth could now form a frightening partnership in the middle of the park by swooping to sign Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay to play him next to Joelinton.

The Magpies are reportedly eyeing up the Scotland international, alongside a number of other Premier League clubs, and are keeping tabs on his situation.

They are said to be long-term admirers of the 26-year-old, and Casemiro’s arrival at Old Trafford could open the door to a potential exit for the Scotsman, although it remains to be seen whether or not the Red Devils are willing to cash in on him.

Joelinton’s 109 tackles and interceptions in 35 Premier League outings led the way for the Magpies last term, and convincing the Red Devils to part ways with McTominay would add another all-action, ball-winning destroyer to the mix.

The £60k-per-week Scottish machine made 99 tackles and interceptions in the top flight in 2021/22, which was more than any other player in Manchester United’s squad.

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Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson celebrates with Joelinton

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Former Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer once lauded him and his team-mate Fred, saying: “Those two are brilliant. They’re absolutely top. You just see Fred running forward today, scoring a goal. Scott is probably one of the best we have got at arriving in the box at the right time.

“He is a beast of a man physically; he has only played 20 minutes in pre-season – as a centre-back – because he has been nursing an injury. Today, for me, you can see he is a man. So all the criticism on them two, I am completely against because I love them.”

These quotes, along with McTominay’s impressive ball-winning statistics, illustrate how much physicality and quality he could offer alongside Joelinton in front of Newcastle’s back four. However, is he suited to the manager’s style of play?

Howe wants Newcastle to be a pressing team, and former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho once described the 26-year-old’s as a “mad dog” and claimed that he was “pressing really hard“.

Along with being a player who can push on and force the issue himself, Jesse Lingard previously claimed that the security McTominay provided in midfield allows the forwards at Old Trafford to confidently execute a high press.

Therefore, he would suit the way that Howe wants to play, and he has the defensive stature to frighten opposition attacks by lining up alongside Joelinton and forming a metaphorical wall in the middle of the park.

Article title: Newcastle: Imagine Joelinton and Scott McTominay together

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