Newcastle United have had a phenomenal start to their Premier League campaign so far and Eddie Howe will surely be thrilled with how well the signings over the last 12 months have worked to improve every area of the pitch at St James’ Park.
Bruno Guimaraes, Dan Burn, Alexander Isak, Sven Botman and Kieran Trippier have all become crucial players in Newcastle’s rapid rise up the league table, with the side currently comfortably occupying a Champions League qualifying spot inside the top four after losing just one game so far over 20 league outings.
As a result, sporting director Dan Ashworth will have a tough task to identify players who can come in and break into the first team with the side already boasting a number of players who are working hard week in, week out to contribute to the team’s run of incredible form in the top flight.
One player who has recently been linked with a move to Tyneside this week is Everton winger Anthony Gordon – a signing that could be a huge mistake and Ashworth’s first transfer howler since his arrival in Newcastle.
The 21-year-old forward is yet again embroiled in a difficult relegation scrap which is largely blamed on the Toffees’ lack of goals, with only 15 tallied up so far which is the joint-second worst goals scored in the entire Premier League this season.
Gordon ranks in the bottom 10% of his positional peers across the top five European leagues for assists, shot-creating actions, passes attempted, pass completion and progressive passes, proving that he is not a player who is effective in progressive play or the attacking threat of his team.
Over 16 Premier League appearances this season, the Everton liability – once hailed “disgraceful” by Tim Sherwood – has lost 63% of his duels and failed to complete 74% of his dribbles, as well as averaging just 11.9 accurate passes, 0.5 key passes and 0.3 interceptions per game, whilst collecting the joint-second most yellow cards in the top flight so far.
Indeed, Gordon is still very young and has room to grow with the right coaching and development, however, with a reported price tag of £50m it would be a high-risk signing at that price, especially for a player who is unproven and could potentially struggle to break into the first team when competing with his positional peers.
With that being said, there is no doubt that Newcastle must avoid the signing of Gordon this month and if Ashworth is keen to bolster the wide-forward roles in the squad then it would be a better idea to identify targets elsewhere.