Newcastle United are reportedly keeping tabs on Middlesbrough midfielder Marcus Tavernier as they look for players to strengthen their squad in January.
According to the Daily Mail, Newcastle United are monitoring Middlesbrough star Marcus Tavernier and hope to bring the 22-year-old to St. James’ Park during the January transfer window. The Championship ace has surfaced as a low-key option as Eddie Howe looks to add depth to his midfield department.
With the January transfer market officially open, the Magpies new owners will be attempting to craft deals for quality players to give Howe’s side an edge in their Premier League survival bid. Having lodged a formal bid to sign England defender Kieran Trippier, the Toon hierarchy are likely to target the profile of players who already have plenty of Premier League experience under their belts.
However, it seems they are also keeping a strong eye on Championship talents, as reaffirmed by their recent links with Bournemouth’s Dominic Solanke and Blackburn Rovers’ Ben Brereton. It is understood that Howe is keen to recruit players from the second tier, with Boro’s utility man Marcus Tavernier among a raft of names to appear on their shortlist.
After progressing through the youth ranks at Newcastle United and Middlesbrough, Tavernier had a brief loan spell with MK Dons before enjoying a breakthrough season at the Riverside Stadium in the 2018/19 season. Since then, the youngster has established himself at the Championship level and has made 130 appearances for the club, bagging 14 goals and 14 assists along the way.
An England youth international, Tavernier can play anywhere across the midfield and has also operated at wing-back. Usually deployed as a right-winger before this season, his versatility means different managers have utilized him in different roles.
Now an all-action midfielder, the 22-year-old has started 22 Championship games this season and has been a key member for the Riverside outfit, who have started well under new manager Chris Wilder. One of the stand-out performers in the second-tier, the Englishman ranks first among Boro’s squad for key passes (1.4) and dribbles (1.4) per game while coming in second and third for shots taken (2.2) and tackles made (2.1) per game, respectively.
This form has seen him attracting interest from multiple top-flight clubs, including Leeds United, Brighton and Southampton. And it appears that newly-rich Newcastle have also jumped on board in the race to sign the Championship hotshot.
With midfielder Isaac Hayden out for a few months after undergoing knee surgery, Newcastle’s rumoured interest in Tavernier makes a whole lot of sense and could end up being a smart signing given their long-term prospects. With relegation a genuine possibility, bringing in an established Championship commodity would not be the worst idea.
If Newcastle do end up going down, they will have the players to propel them straight back into the Premier League. Tavernier’s contract with Middlesbrough runs until June 2023. Whether the Magpies can land the Championship talent or whether they choose to pursue other high-profile targets remains to be seen.