April 23, 2024

Newcastle: Ashley Phillips could be Lascelles 2.0

An update has emerged on Newcastle United and their plans to bolster their playing squad ahead of the 2023/24 Premier League campaign…

What’s the latest Newcastle United transfer news?

According to The Sun, the Magpies are one of the clubs interested in signing Blackburn Rovers central defender Ashley Phillips before the end of the summer transfer window.

The report claims that fellow top-flight side Tottenham Hotspur are also looking into a deal for the talented youngster, who has a release clause of £2m that will activate on Friday.

Read The Latest Newcastle Transfer News HERE…

However, the Championship side are holding out for a fee of around £9.45m in order to cash in on his talent before his contractual situation allows Spurs to swoop in for £2m later this week.

Although, it remains to be seen whether or not Newcastle are willing to meet Blackburn’s demands in order to ward off interest from Tottenham or if they would prefer to pay the release clause and attempt to convince the player that a move to St. James’ Park is the right option for him.

Who is Ashley Phillips?

The towering centre-back only turned 18 in June and it seems unlikely that he would come in to be an immediate frontline option for Eddie Howe.

However, the teenage prospect could be a signing for the long-term as he could develop into an eventual heir to Fabian Schar on the right side of the defensive pairing, given that the Switzerland international turns 32 this year and his contract expires at the end of the forthcoming season.

Phillips could follow in the footsteps of current club captain Jamaal Lascelles, who joined the Magpies from then-Championship side Nottingham Forest as a 20-year-old in 2014.

The central defender went back on loan to his former club for the remainder of the 2014/15 campaign before he established himself as a regular fixture at the back for Newcastle the following season.

To date, Lascelles has made 225 first-team appearances for the club, including 159 in the Premier League, and has been the captain since the summer of 2016.

At the age of 18, Phillips could go back out on loan, as the now-29-year-old titan did, to gain vital experience before being ready to break into Howe’s team in the future.

The 6 foot 4 colossus, who was once described as a “monster” by Spurs insider John Wenham, has made 14 senior appearances for Blackburn and is yet to prove himself as a professional.

However, the England U19 international has clearly done enough to catch Newcastle and Tottenham’s attention, as they seemingly believe that he has the potential to make the step up to the Premier League eventually.

For now, the Magpies could bring him in and then instantly loan him back out to another Championship team or abroad in order to test him at first-team level on a regular basis.

If he is able to develop and impress enough to convince Howe to bring him into the senior fold after a spell away from St. James’, he could be Lascelles 2.0 for the Magpies, as a young defender coming in from the second-tier before bursting onto the scene further down the line.

Of course, there is no guarantee that Phillips will make the breakthrough or continue his progression but their gamble paid off with the former Forest prodigy and they could complete this deal in the hope that they enjoy a similar success.

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