Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Costs a Pretty Penny Potential and Pace - but That; Mark Douglas on Newcastle Target Murphy

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Costs a Pretty Penny Potential and Pace - but That; Mark Douglas on Newcastle Target Murphy

Article excerpt

NEWCASTLE United would be buying raw potential rather than proven Premier League power if they brokered a deal for Norwich City's 22-year-old rising star Jacob Murphy.

However, what Murphy lacks in experience he more than makes up for in terms of ability, quality and potential to improve under the tutelage of Rafa Benitez at St James' Park.

First things first: Benitez likes what he has seen from Murphy.

Steve Nickson watched him emerge as one of England's best performers in a fine Euro under-21 campaign in Poland - during which he scored as Aidy Boothroyd's men made the last four. The United boss had already earmarked him as one of the clutch of promising Championship performers United feel they can sign for less than what appear to be "crazy" prices being quoted for top Premier League club's cast-offs.

Tom Cairney was another one - a new deal at Fulham scuppered that - while Tom Lawrence (a Premier League player, of course, but who caught the eye in the Championship) is also on the wishlist. Murphy ticks plenty of boxes. He is quick, technically good and he has an eye for goal - and he is getter better quickly: nine goals last season, including one against Newcastle, were proof he is a prospect Benitez believes would fit into a squad which "buys into" the coaches' culture of wanting to become better and learn.

It is an intriguing one, though: do Newcastle pay the PS10millionplus Norwich want? Murphy has no Premier League experience so eight figures is a risk.

Sources at Carrow Road say there were times last season when he drifted out of games and was inconsistent. You would expect that with a player still learning.

He is a Newcastle fan, of course, and there is a picture circulating on social media of him and brother Josh in a United kit as kids. There is a familial link - his parents are Newcastle fans based off a love of Kevin Keegan and Jacob has spoken of his admiration for Alan Shearer and support for Newcastle. …

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