Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce is eyeing a late transfer window swoop for Manchester United defender Phil Jones.
The Magpies have had a quiet summer thus far in terms of incomings, with Joe Willock being the only notable arrival after seeing his move from Arsenal turned into a permanent one for around £25m.
Now, according to The Daily Mail, Bruce is keen to bring in players with Premier League experience, and has got his eye on England’s Jones.
If Newcastle are seriously contemplating making a move for Jones – who himself has had numerous injury problems in recent years and has missed a staggering 204 games for United since joining them – then they really need to have a strong, hard look at themselves.
Even if you didn’t include the injury issues he’s had, his performances on the pitch have left a lot to be desired too, with former Arsenal defender Martin Keown admitting he’s somewhat of a liability.
He said: “I don’t like to see someone be a figure of ridicule. But sometimes he looks like he’s on roller-skates, sometimes he looks like the stunt-man of the team.
“He’s just got to be calm and somebody has got to help him. I don’t know how much help he’s getting, but he needs it. If they haven’t got a defensive coach they need to get one, get in his ear and help him. There’s got to be a decent player in there still, but somebody has got to help him. He’s at a crossroads in his career.”
The last time Jones stepped foot on the pitch in the Premier League, he finished the campaign averaging more fouls per game than he did successful tackles or interceptions, and averaged a shocking 6.39 match rating as per Whoscored.
The fact Jones has remained at Old Trafford rather than trying to find a new club much sooner is something his former teammate Rio Ferdinand has openly questioned, leading to some very scathing criticism indeed – a question of attitude that should have the Magpies running away too.
He said: “If I was in a squad with someone like that, I’m not talking to them. They’re a waste of time. Why am I chatting to you and giving you any energy? Taking that away from my other teammates who are here to play and go into battle for 90 minutes every week.”
Earning a reported £75k-a-week, Newcastle would just be heading for a disaster both on and off the pitch with the kind of player they would be getting, and the money that they would have to pay him as well.
It’s a move that, put simply, is a “waste of time”.