Newcastle United have reportedly identified Fulham defender Tosin Adarabioyo as a potential January signing to strengthen their defence.

According to The Times, Newcastle United are considering a January swoop for Fulham central defender Tosin Adarabioyo as they look to bolster their defensive ranks to boost their Premier League survival bid.

Newcastle conceded three more goals in their 3-1 loss to Liverpool on Thursday, making them the worst defensive side in the division this season, with 37 goals shipped in 17 games. The result was the latest in a string of disappointing outcomes for Eddie Howe’s side, who might very well enter the January transfer market in the bottom three.

The Magpies have hired ex-Celtic technical director Nick Hammond as a temporary consultant to provide them with transfer expertise to help them run an effective recruitment drive next month. Adding a couple of quality defenders seems to be on the top of Magpies’ immediate priorities.

The Toon have recently been linked with an audacious bid for highly-rated Lille defender Sven Botman, but a move seems unlikely given their position on the Premier League table. Meanwhile, approaches for Burnley’s defensive duo James Tarkowski and Ben Mee are realistic, but it is hard to see the Clarets selling their reliable defenders to a direct relegation rival.

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And it seems Adarabioyo is the latest name to join a long list of defenders linked to the Toon. As per the report, Howe is optimistic that the January arrival of Adarabioyo from Fulham would help fix his side’s current defensive woes. Interestingly, the 24-year-old has been on Newcastle’s radar since last summer, but a move did not materialize due to a lack of funds under the previous regime.

Newcastle have scouted Adarabioyo extensively this season, but Fulham will be reluctant to allow him to leave Craven Cottage as they aim for an instant return to the Premier League. He had an impressive campaign in the top flight in 2020/21 but failed to stop a dismal Fulham side from avoiding the drop.

The Manchester-born defender has been in supreme form for the Cottagers this term and has forged a formidable defensive partnership alongside veteran Tim Ream in the second-tier. Adarabioyo is contracted in west London until 2023, with Fulham holding an option to extend his stay by a further year.

With Jamaal Lascelles, the only defender at the club under the age of 30, Newcastle’s defensive roster lacks aggression, pace and commits a lot of individual errors leading to goals. Moreover, most of them are not suited to play out from the back, as required in Howe’s system. Signing a promising English defender like Adarabioyo could prove to be a shrewd piece of business from the Magpies.

A Manchester City academy product, he is a tidy distributor excelling at bringing out the ball from the back while boasting a commanding presence inside the box. Standing at 6ft 5in, he is aerially dominant, and his athleticism and decent recovery pace mean he is hard to dribble past. He will add some much-needed quality, and at the age of 24, the Englishman has the potential to grow into an established Premier League defender.

Only time will tell whether Newcastle step up their efforts to land the 24-year-old or turn to other alternatives.

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