Newcastle United’s lengthy pursuit of Joe Willock resulted in the Magpies missing out on signing Axel Tuanzebe from Manchester United, according to Newcastle World journalist Liam Kennedy.
What’s the latest news involving the duo?
Willock was Newcastle’s only senior signing of the summer transfer window as he completed a move worth in excess of £20million from Arsenal last month.
However, it took some time for the Tyneside club to get the deal over the line as Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta originally claimed Willock still had a future at the Emirates Stadium and was part of his plans.
While Newcastle looked to seal Willock’s return, the Magpies were thought to be the frontrunners in the race to sign Tuanzebe on a season-long loan deal from Manchester United.
But they were beaten to his services by Premier League rivals Aston Villa last month.
What has Liam Kennedy said about the situation?
Kennedy believes Newcastle stood a good chance of welcoming Tuanzebe to St James’ Park on a temporary deal.
However, the journalist reckons the Magpies were guilty of focusing solely on reaching an agreement with Arsenal for Willock’s signature and, as a result, Tuanzebe opted to move elsewhere.
Kennedy told GMS: “They wanted Axel Tuanzebe, who ended up at Aston Villa.
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“I think that was a deal that could have been done in any given summer.
“But it was just one of those where Steve Bruce put all his eggs in one basket and Newcastle United put all their eggs in one basket and made sure they brought Joe Willock back.”
Would Tuanzebe have improved Newcastle?
Newcastle fans clearly think so as they reacted angrily to news of Tuanzebe’s move to Villa Park.
To make matters worse for the Toon Army, Tuanzebe has made a promising start to the new campaign and kept three clean sheets in six appearances.
The Magpies’ defensive problems worsened last week when it was confirmed that club captain Jamaal Lascelles is unlikely to feature until after next month’s international break due to suffering a thigh injury.
The central defenders at Bruce’s disposal include Ciaran Clark, Fabian Schar and Federico Fernandez.