Jacob Murphy’s loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday has given him the opportunity to make a big impression on the coaching staff at Newcastle, but so far it is doubtful that he has played his way back into their plans.
The winger has enjoyed a bit of a rough patch of late, with his loan spell at West Brom last season not setting the world alight either as he managed a return of just two goals and one assist in 15 appearances.
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A closer look suggests he has failed to impress Garry Monk. Murphy has started just five out of a possible 13 league games, which is little surprise given he has contributed just two league goals – one of which came back in August against relegation-threatened Barnsley.
Whilst he is still impressive when running with the ball, with 1.9 successful dribbles per game, his decision-making continues to let him down and he becomes ineffective in the final third as a result.
His rate of 0.6 key passes per game is a good indicator of that, with the current Magpies wingers failing to deliver in the same area, this should really be where Murphy’s standing out in comparison. Unfortunately that’s not been the case this season.
A bigger concern is that when he returns to the north-east he will have only 12 months remaining on his contract, meaning Newcastle will have to decide whether to sell or hand him a new contract before they run the risk of losing him on a free.
With his form seemingly in decline though, it is looking like Rafa Benitez made a mistake in bringing him to Tyneside
At 24 years of age he still has the potential to develop into a more effective winger, but with Newcastle spending big on the likes of Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin in recent windows, it seems that they are preparing for life without him.
Based on current form, that approach is more than justified.