Following successive away wins at automatic promotion rivals Brighton and Hove Albion and Huddersfield Town, it appears as though Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez is already starting to prepare for life in the Premier League.
The Magpies are currently 11 points clear of third-placed Huddersfield with 11 matches of the season left, and the Spaniard has been linked with a £12m move for Hull City defender Harry Maguire by The Sun. It appears to be a bid to try and tighten up a defence that was largely responsible for their relegation to the Championship last season.
In order to try and ensure that they don’t suffer the same fate again, Benitez looks to be making early plans to make sure his side are strong at the back, and supporters would certainly back a move for the former Sheffield United man.
The 24-year-old has been one of the highlights in what has been a tough campaign for the Tigers, who look to be in danger of dropping out of the top flight as they currently lie in 19th position, four points from safety.
In 20 appearances this season, Maguire has put in a number of brilliant performances at the back – making 34 tackles, 93 clearances and 50 interceptions, while he hasn’t made a single defensive error.
But one thing that the centre-back also has in his locker – and something that will impress Benitez – is his ability to bring the ball out from the back.
Maguire has completed 18 take-ons in the Premier League this term and has often proved to be a threat in the opposition penalty area too, going close on a number of occasions in his side’s defeat to Chelsea in January.