Watford are in the race to bring Jacob Murphy to Vicarage Road this summer, according to reports.
That’s according to The Sun, who claim that Xisco Munoz is keeping a watchful eye on the Newcastle United winger ahead of a potential move this summer.
It is also reported that Burnley, Southampton and Rangers have all declared their interest in the 26-year-old, for whom Newcastle would demand a fee of around £6 million.
However, after news of Watford’s interest in Murphy was relayed on Twitter, a number of the Hornets fans appeared less than enthused at the prospect of the signing, with one stating that they “don’t see why” their club are interested, while another stated his belief that, if the interest in Murphy is a sign of things to come, then their “season will be sad“.
While it is undeniable that the player Steve Bruce dubbed “determined” has been enjoying a decent run of form in recent weeks, putting in impressive displays against the likes of Aston Villa, Burnley and Liverpool, this recent upturn in performance should not trick Watford into splashing a considerable amount of cash on the winger.
Having moved to Newcastle from Norwich City in what was a £10.17 million deal back in 2017, Murphy managed to score just one goal and provide one assist over his 25 Premier League appearances throughout his debut season, averaging an extremely disappointing WhoScored match rating of just 6.29.
In the following campaign, the £25,000-per-week man featured in just nine top-flight games for the Magpies, over which he averaged a WhoScored match rating of 6.25, before being sent on loan to the then-Championship side, West Bromwich Albion, where he scored two goals and provided one assist over his 15 appearances, averaging yet another disappointing match rating of 6.50.
A further loan spell followed in 2019/20, this time at Sheffield Wednesday, where Murphy’s form did improve, with the 26-year-old bagging nine goals and registering four assists over his 39 Championship appearances while averaging a WhoScored match rating of 6.80.
As such, regardless of his recent purple patch – which has still only seen the winger average a WhoScored match rating of 6.64 this season – these statistics would appear to indicate that Murphy has not been able to cut it in what is typically a struggling Newcastle United side, while the former Norwich City man’s performances tend to improve at Championship level.
So, it would not seem to be a wise move for Xisco to bring a player of Murphy’s apparent quality to the club this summer, should he wish to ensure the Hornets’ top-flight survival next season – especially considering his reported asking price of £6 million, as well as a rather hefty weekly wage.