Newcastle United’s search for an answer up top is heading South, directionally, and their hope for help in the midfield may be as well.
The Magpies are said to be on the verge of adding Joselu from Stoke City for about $6 million, and are linked to Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere amongst a host of other names as Rafa Benitez aims to build up his club for a long Premier League stay.
Joselu, 27, arrived at Stoke from Hannover 96 two years ago but struggled to find First Team time under Mark Hughes. He scored four goals in two preseason appearances for the Potters this season, but had reportedly already agreed to part ways with the club.
Speaking of Arsenal, Benitez is said to be requesting both Perez and Wilshere from Arsene Wenger. Wilshere went on loan to Bournemouth last season and played his most matches since 2013-14.
Newcastle fell 2-0 at home to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, though the match was scoreless when Jonjo Shelvey took an absurd red card in the 50th minute for stamping on a prone Dele Alli‘s achilles.
Benitez’s striker corps is Dwight Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic, and the latter is out of favor with the manager for his potential to lash out at opponents. Joselu has a pair of double digit seasons in the Bundesliga, and perhaps the Spaniard can find his scoring boots under one of his countrymen.
That’s where the understanding ends for Benitez, who saw big summer signing Florian Lejeune scythed down by a Harry Kane scissor kick and just a yellow card shown. Lejeune left the game, joining left back Paul Dummett as players needing first half subs.
“It was difficult from the beginning. We had to adapt things [after injuries]. The red card changed everything. I think we were defending well. We have to improve. We had our chances but we missed them.”
“The Harry Kane tackle was worse than this one. It’s more dangerous. We lost one player from that. We made a mistake, but I think maybe someone has to analyse these things to see what’s more dangerous.”
Let’s be clear, Kane’s ugly tackle — easily a yellow card — wasn’t worse than Shelvey walking on Dele Alli‘s achilles tendon. But Benitez is right to feel aggrieved when Newcastle lost a major player on an unseemly tackle, and we’re sure he’s raging at Shelvey for ruining what looked like it could be a scoreless draw and welcome point from the Magpies’ Premier League return.
A Javier Manquillo foul provided a rare chance for Spurs, but Harry Kane‘s heading a free kick bounced harmlessly to Magpies backstop Rob Elliot.
Newcastle was sloppy with its touches and passing, but its relentless pressure allowed the hosts most of the ball through most of the first half and a significant amount of corner kicks.
Rafa Benitez was forced into his second substitution when new signing Florian Lejeune was injured from a rash tackle from Kane — the Spurs man saw just yellow — and a second center back came off the bench in Chancel Mbemba.
Spurs found their footing around the 41st minute, and Elliot had a little work to do when Christian Eriksen curled a shot from outside the box.
Jonjo Shelvey was given a red card after the break. Dele Alli handled the ball after a foul and would not release it. As Shelvey stepped over Dele to gather the ball, he stepped on the Spurs’ player’s ankle and was sent off.
Newcastle would have to play 42 minutes down a man.
Harry Kane made a sliding point-blank shot that Elliot foiled for a corner as Spurs mounted their attack.
It was Dele the villain who put Spurs ahead, rightly so, with a sliding finish off Christian Eriksen’s feed. Kane started the play, and Lascelles was victimized on the finish. 1-0, Spurs.
The Magpies held firm for less than 10 minutes, and this time it was Davies with a stylish finish of more fluid play from Dele, Kane, and Eriksen.
Christian Atsu put a shot into the outside of the netting in the 83rd minute as the Magpies sought a goal. A late free kick then saw Ciaran Clark hit a partial clearance right into Hugo Lloris‘ arms.
Kane, who doesn’t have a PL goal in any August, battered the post in the first minute of stoppage time then scored an offside goal in the second.
First, to Leicester: the Foxes had a thrilling 4-3 loss to Arsenal, one of the squads who’ve been linked many times to Leicester attacker Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian has been more in focus when it comes to AS Roma, and the Italian club is apparently not going to budge from its valuation of the player.
Newcastle United gets its first taste of Premier League football in better than a year when it hosts the debut of Tottenham Hotspur’s latest title bid on Sunday (Watch live at 8:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).