Newcastle are trying to determine whether Matt Targett is good enough to help the side progress in the long-term before signing him permanently, according to journalist Dean Jones.
Targett joined Eddie Howe’s side until the end of the season from Aston Villa back in January, and he has started well on Tyneside.
What’s the latest news involving Targett?
Since he arrived at St James’ Park, Targett has started all eight of the matches that he has been available for, only missing Newcastle’s game against his parent club Villa as he was ineligible.
The full-back has slotted in seamlessly to the team’s defence, and has looked comfortable alongside fellow new signing Dan Burn on the left-hand side of Newcastle’s back four.
It was reported last month that the Magpies already have an agreement in principle with Villa to sign Targett permanently this summer, in a deal that is set to be worth around £15m.
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What has Jones said about Targett?
Jones has hinted that Targett staying beyond this season at Newcastle is not necessarily a certainty as he has suggested that the North-East club have doubts about whether he can take them to the next level.
He told GIVEMESPORT: “Matt Targett’s a good player, but is he good enough for where Newcastle want to head? I think that’s what they’re trying to decide right now.”
Should Newcastle sign Targett permanently?
Looking at the teams that Targett has played for over the years, he has been at Fulham, Southampton and Villa. These are all sides that have tended to finish in the bottom half of the Premier League or towards the top of the Championship in recent seasons.
Therefore, it is understandable if Newcastle do have some concerns about whether Targett can take that next step. The club have ambitious owners who will want to be challenging at the right end of the table sooner rather than later, and Targett has not proven that he can play for a top European club yet.
However, Newcastle may also have to be patient in their bid to start challenging the biggest clubs in the country.
It could be the case that they have to gradually strengthen their squad over the next few years, before eventually competing with the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool.
With this in mind, Targett could actually turn out be a smart signing as he has plenty of Premier League experience, appears to have settled quickly at Newcastle, and he is still only 26, meaning there is time for him to improve and become a useful player for the team in the coming seasons.