Newcastle United

Newcastle United: Chris Waugh drops interesting Joao Pedro claim

Image for Newcastle United: Chris Waugh drops interesting Joao Pedro claim

The Athletic’s Chris Waugh has claimed on Pod on the Tyne that there is confidence at Newcastle United’s end when it comes to securing the signing of Joao Pedro.

While a lot of the transfer focus was seemingly placed on the young Brazilian and Newcastle lodging a second bid for the forward this summer, out of nowhere, the Magpies are now suddenly close to signing Alexander Isak from Real Sociedad.

It also doesn’t appear to be the case that it’s one or the other for Newcastle and Eddie Howe, as Ben Jacobs has claimed that Pedro could well still arrive as well as the Swedish striker, which would certainly beef up the Magpies’ frontline, which had just been deflated slightly by the injuries to Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser.

Waugh has admitted that Newcastle are indeed confident of landing Pedro, although the same noises aren’t coming from Watford’s end.

He said: “Quite a few reasons why they’re attracted to [Joao Pedro] – he wouldn’t need to be registered in the Premier League squad because he’s under the age of 21 and Newcastle have a little bit of an issue in terms of numbers.

“It may mean they keep someone like Jonjo Shelvey in the squad, particularly if they are looking to sign another midfielder maybe on loan later in the window, as they seem to be trying to do.

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“And also, he’s versatile, can play across the front positions and isn’t someone who would necessarily expect to come in and play ahead of Wilson. Callum Wilson is the established number nine, you saw what he can do against Manchester City.

“So that one, there’s some people around Newcastle who feel it could happen, there’s others at the Watford end who are just adamant that it won’t.”

TIF Thoughts on Pedro potentially joining Newcastle…

If the Magpies were able to bring in both Pedro and Isak, it would not just beef up their options up front, but it would hand Eddie Howe two young players that he could coach, develop and see grow within the club.

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As Waugh suggests, Pedro, who has been called ‘exciting’, wouldn’t likely arrive demanding to be a starter every week for Newcastle given his age and slightly disappointing attacking output last season in the Premier League. Meanwhile, the form shown by Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron – with two assists and one goal between them thus far – would also threaten his game time, at least initially.

Also, if Isak was to be brought in for a club-record fee, he would likely be the starter through the middle, especially while Wilson is out injured, although allowing Pedro time to gel with the squad and get to grips with the Premier League while not needing to be relied upon heavily could be the best thing for him and his development.

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