Rafa Benitez plans swoop for Newcastle duo as Sunderland legend admits he is ‘not surprised’ at Steve Bruce’s defensive woes

It may be the international break, but plenty of stories about Newcastle United havestill emerged today.

By Joe Buck
Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 4:45 pm

Here, we round up all the latest stories that have emerged today surrounding Newcastle United:

Sunderland legend slams Newcastle United defending

Newcastle United sit 19th in the Premier League and have the joint-worst defensive record having conceded 16 times in seven league games.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Newcastle United's Allan Saint-Maximin and Sean Longstaff are reportedly targets for Everton and Rafa Benitez (Photo by Peter Cziborra/Pool via Getty Images)

Newcastle are yet to keep a clean-sheet in the league so far this season and former-Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips has slammed United’s defending:

“It’s not good enough,” Phillips told Football Insider.

“I look at that back four and I think, is that a Premier League back four? It’s not for me.

“It’s a back four which will continually concede chances in my opinion so I’m not surprised to see that they still haven’t kept a clean sheet this season.

“I play golf with a Newcastle supporter and he’s frustrated. The place is low at the moment. Confidence isn’t high.

“The amount of goals they are conceding is worrying. You cannot keep conceding goals at that level because it drains the life out of you. It puts too much pressure on the forward players.

“It is a tough one for Steve Bruce. They need to go into the market in January and strengthen their defence because it does not look good at the moment.”

Willock injury boost

Joe Willock left the field before half-time at Molineux when he limped off with a hip-injury.

After being spotted in a protective boot the week before, many fans were worried that yet another injury to Newcastle’s only summer signing could keep him sidelined for a while.

However, reports from the Daily Mail today suggest that Willock will be available to face Tottenham Hotspur in Newcastle’s next game.

Newcastle duo targeted by Everton

According to various reports, Everton have their sights set on adding Sean Longstaff and Allan Saint-Maximin to their ranks.

Rafa Benitez has long been an admirer of Longstaff and could look to a January move for the midfielder whose contract runs out in the summer.

Furthermore, Saint-Maximin’s fantastic start to the season has made him an exciting proposition for clubs, however, Newcastle have reportedly set a £50m pricetag on the Frenchman.

A message from the Football Clubs Editor

Our aim is to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative Newcastle United coverage 365 days a year.

This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to, please consider taking out a subscription; sign up here.

Your support is much appreciated. Richard Mennear, Football Clubs Editor