Newcastle United transfer news: Mike Ashley reverts to type in Djed Spence chase

Mike Ashley Newcastle United latest transfer news

According to the Northern Echo, Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is set to revert to his former strategy when it comes to shopping in the January market. 

While the focus this summer appeared to be on signing Premier League proven players in an effort to consolidate, the Sports Direct mogul is believed to be leaning towards buying young players with potential sell-on value should he continue as the club's owner. 

Indeed, one of the players in question is Middlesbrough's Djed Spence, who we wrote about yesterday.

A right-back, Spence attempts more dribbles, pressing duels, loose ball duels and key passes than Javi Manquillo and Emil Krafth so does look to have a higher ceiling in an attacking sense.

Obviously, these are statistics that focus on attempts and he does need to improve his end product (he's not registered an assist yet in his career) in order to make the most of that potential but that is to be expected at 20 years of age. 

Jacob Murphy has impressed in a wing-back berth on the right over the last few games but that is not his natural position and he is due to run out of contract in 2021, meaning a new addition would certainly be welcome. 

On the opposite flank, the signing of a young and mobile wing-back has helped give Newcastle much better balance.

Jamal Lewis has made the most pressing actions of any Toon player this season (98 according to FBRef) and is the defender to have made the most in the opposition third (11).

Last season, Matt Ritchie was the highest defender with 46 there across the whole campaign, so the fact Lewis is already almost a quarter of the way there speaks to the change in tone.

If Steve Bruce is going to get his side winning the ball back higher up the pitch in an effort to impose themselves on games more, signing someone to do that on the opposite flank to act as cover and competition for Murphy in equal measure to mirror Lewis could be a good way of doing so. 

Djed Spence Newcastle transfer

As you can see from the graphic above, Spence isn't too far off matching Murphy's contributions per 90 in some key areas and does beat him in pressing duels.

So, even if Ashley does revert to type in the transfer market, it may not be all bad should someone like Spence come through the door. 

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