The two Newcastle United prospects who could save the club millions as major transfer decisions loom

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Newcastle United have already added one defender to their ranks this summer, but they could look to strengthen further in that area.

Lloyd Kelly’s arrival from Bournemouth has helped Eddie Howe strengthen his defensive options without breaking the bank. With Sven Botman and Jamaal Lascelles out for a number of months, Kelly will offer cover at both centre-back and left-back in their absence and bring with him a great amount of Premier League experience - as well as a history of working under Howe whilst at the Vitality Stadium.

Kelly’s signing also provides cover for Lewis Hall who is expected to start the season as the club’s first-choice left-back, or at very least be pushing Kelly all the way for a starting berth. Hall’s first season at St James’ Park was a tricky one as he was forced to settle for a place on the bench throughout the first-half of the campaign, however, by the end of the season, he was able to showcase his talents and demonstrate why they were happy to pay almost £30m for his services.

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With both Hall and Kelly as left-back options, as well as Dan Burn if required, that leaves Matt Targett in a very precarious position. The former Aston Villa man barely featured last season because of injury and he may be someone the club look to offload this summer.

If Targett does leave, then Newcastle’s options at left-back once again look fairly stretched once again with only Hall as a recognised out and out left-back. With PSR issues behind them now, Newcastle will look to buy players before the 30 August deadline but have a number of areas they will want to strengthen in.

A striker, or at very least a versatile forward will be prioritised with any potential transfer in that area of the field likely to take a sizeable portion out of their budget. Elliot Anderson’s departure and Lewis Miley’s injury may see them move for a centre midfielder, whilst a long-term successor for Nick Pope will also be something they look for over the next few windows or so.

All of this leaves left-back as far from a priority. Therefore, could the club look to their youth ranks to help bolster this area of the pitch?

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One man they could turn to is Alex Murphy. Murphy has had the briefest of exposure to the first-team, making cameo appearances against Chelsea and Sheffield United last season and was praised by Howe for his development: “My plans for him is that he continues to push and train well and push the players that are in the team,” he told The Gazette. “I'm really pleased with his progress this year. I think with his training time with us, he's really improved.

Alex Murphy could be given the chance to impress during pre-season.Alex Murphy could be given the chance to impress during pre-season.
Alex Murphy could be given the chance to impress during pre-season. | AFP via Getty Images

“He can play left-back, centre-half, he's athletic and very composed on the ball, a really good footballer.”

The club could, and probably will, look to loan Murphy out this season in order to expose him to regular first-team football - but an impressive pre-season could see them change plans and give him even more chances in the senior side. If that is the case, then the future looks bright for Newcastle United.

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