Newcastle admit defeat in loan pursuit of Man United defender

Newcastle are targeting Manchester United's Brandon Williams

Newcastle United have ended their interest in Manchester United defender Brandon Williams, according to The Northern Echo.

It had previously been reported by The Chronicle that the 20-year-old defender was keen on a loan move to St. James' Park. 

However, it now appears Williams will be staying at Old Trafford this month with Newcastle reportedly admitting defeat in their pursuit of the prodigious full-back. 

Williams featured in Manchester United's FA Cup win over Watford on Saturday and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer subsequently discussed the club's hopes of forging Williams into a right-sided, attacking full-back, despite spending much of his career on the opposite flank. 

That, coupled with the fact Timothy Fosu-Mensah is being allowed to seek a January move instead, appears to have convinced Newcastle that a deal for Williams is no longer worth pursuing. 

However, the search for another full-back might not be over just yet with Djibril Sidibe also mentioned as a potential mid-season recruit. 

GIVEMESPORT's Christy Malyan says...

It does seem as though Newcastle have given up a little too easily. Sure, Solskjaer may well have outlined his plans for using Williams as an alternative at right-back but he's still probably going to get more game-time at Newcastle in the second half of the season than with his parent club. 

Nonetheless, the real question here is why exactly Newcastle need to bring in another full-back option midseason. Having already signed Jamal Lewis and Emil Krafth on permanent deals in the last two transfer windows, the fact Newcastle find themselves searching for another full-back already hints at poor recruitment. 

Tellingly, Lewis has lost his place in the starting XI recently after a consistent run in the side, while Krafth has only made 16 Premier League starts for Newcastle since being signed around a year ago, and quite frankly appears a little out of his depth.

Williams looks to have a bright future ahead of him and Newcastle would've done well to add him to their squad for the second half of the campaign. But the real concern here is how Newcastle are looking to sign yet another full-back in a run that goes back several transfer windows. 

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Alexey Smertin - Chelsea

Can you name this obscure former Premier League player?

Lewis was signed in the summer, Krafth arrived in January 2020 alongside Danny Rose on loan, Jetro Willems was brought in on loan in summer 2019 and in the window before that, the Magpies snapped up Antonio Barreca in yet another loan.

Signing Williams on a temporary deal would therefore make it six full-backs in the last five transfer windows, four of them being loans and five of them being left-backs. It doesn't take a genius to work out that's a pretty shoddy way to run recruitment at a Premier League club.

And while the focus on loans is inevitably linked to Mike Ashley's seemingly never-ending mission to sell the Magpies, the fact the permanent signings have also disappointed points to a wider issue of lacking any real vision or direction in recruitment strategy.

Regardless of the ownership situation, Newcastle really need to get to grips with what they want the squad to look like and being proactive rather than reactive in the transfer market.

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