What's wrong with Newcastle United's Jacob Murphy? The Sheffield Wednesday view on the £12m winger's struggles

A Newcastle United fan since boyhood, family in the area, and a real want to wear the black and white shirt – Jacob Murphy should really be a Geordie hero in the making.

Thursday, 26th September 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Thursday, 26th September 2019, 7:00 am
SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24: Jacob Murphy of Sheffield Wednesday reacts during the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Sheffield Wednesday and Everton FC at Hillsborough on September 24, 2019 in Sheffield, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

But two years on from his £12million move from Norwich City, the players has done little to warrant that price tag other than a few fleeting cameos off the bench.

Sent out for an underwhelming loan in the second tier with West Brom last season, Murphy again finds himself in the Championship, this time with Sheffield Wednesday.

But six games into his season at Hillsborough, how is he performing?

Our NUFC writer Liam Kennedy has spoken to the Sheffield Star’s Alex Miller for a rundown of Murphy’s impact in South Yorkshire.

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How would you assess Jacob Murphy's time at Wednesday so far?

Murphy couldn't have asked for a better start to his time with Wednesday, scoring with his first touch in a Yorkshire derby win over Barnsley.

With Kadeem Harris on the opposite wing the Owls had pace on the flanks not seen for many years at Hillsborough and the feeling was early doors that they were the missing link to success.

But while Harris has continued to dazzle, Murphy has been a picture of inconsistency, producing glimmers of magic in largely wasteful outings.

Is he a player you believe can make an impact at Championship level, and potentially Premier League in the future?

I can't speak for the Premier League but if Murphy is to first make a meaningful impact in the Championship, he has to provide more consistency and force himself into games more often.

From what we've seen, he's too easily pushed onto the fringes of a match and doesn't seem to have either the confidence or the intelligence to drag himself back in.

But pace is a valuable commodity and if he can put that to better use more often he'll be a very fine player at this level.

Murphy was very much seen as a confidence player at Newcastle - does the player look like he is lacking in that department?

Very much so. After scoring on debut you could see this was a player with points to prove and the skills to prove them.

But he's dwindled in recent weeks and seems reluctant to try things he would've had a go at in his early outings. He's not shown for the ball quite as much and doesn't have the air of a player who wants it.

When he gets it he's proven that he can beat his man and has pace to burn, but the Jacob Murphy Wednesday had in his first month with the club is very different to the one they have now.

What are the new manager's thoughts on the player?

Murphy has started two of Garry Monk's three games in charge, suggesting he has faith in the winger. In both of those matches though - away at Huddersfield and at home to Everton in the Carabao Cup - he has been substituted on the hour mark.

The other match against Fulham saw him instead come on for the last half-hour and he has described a determination to give all of his players a good go and seems to prefer pace in key positions - Murphy should benefit from that.

EXPERT OPINION

Earlier this season, then caretaker boss Lee Bullen said of Murphy: “I think he’s sort of been very good and then a little bit quiet at times. I think he’ll admit that himself.

“He held his hand up at Preston. But you can see from some of the flashes early on, I think it was the first minute, the other night against Rotherham. He skins the boy, puts it through his legs, gets up the line.

“And that’s what we need to see more of and that’s what we’re trying to encourage him to do. Get the ball to feet and get driving at defenders because there’s nothing worse for any full-back than when you’ve got a winger who’s willing to pick it up and drive at you.

“More often than not they want to get a touch, come inside and bounce one-twos off the strikers. They don’t want to get it faced up and go one-on-one like Kadeem (Harris, the Sheffield Wednesday winger) has been doing; like Jacob did earlier on.

“I think he’s quite enjoying himself, but I think he knows there’s more in the tank and we’re trying to encourage him to get that out of him.”