The genius Newcastle United and Everton summer swap transfer that would hugely benefit both clubs
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These coming months could be historic in how incalculably damaging they might be for Everton. One of the true great institutions of English football are facing the very real prospect of a first relegation from the top flight since 1955, and while such setbacks are never welcomed with open arms, to fall out of the Premier League this summer would be specifically detrimental.
At the time of writing, Everton are preparing to move into a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, while still operating under the threat and stigma of the series of financial breaches that have already brought with them a 10-point deduction and dragged the Toffees into that aforementioned scrap for survival. Given those looming pressures, both internal and external, it is hard to imagine relegation being anything other than catastrophic for Sean Dyche's men.
And yet, it may get worse still, because if Everton do go down, they could very well have their proverbial bones picked clean. Despite their precarious predicament in the Premier League, the Blues do boast a squad that is brimming with admirable talent. Take Jordan Pickford between the sticks, for instance, or precocious centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite. And then, of course, there is Amadou Onana.
For a long, long time now, the Belgian midfielder has been touted as a target for a number of top six clubs, even if Everton do stay up. Arsenal are frequently mentioned as suitors, as are Manchester United. But according to a recent report from Football Insider, both could face stiff competition for his signature from the North East.
It is understood that Newcastle United have compiled a thorough scouting report on the 22-year-old, and believe that he would represent an upgrade on several of their current options in the centre of the park. As such, a summer bid could be on the cards, with a price tag of around £60 million previously mentioned in relation to his eventual departure.
For the Magpies, that would be a notable outlay, especially while they continue to try and balance their newfound status as the richest club in world football with the constraints of Financial Fair Play.
But what if there was a way that Newcastle could bring that price down while also benefiting Everton in the process? Presumably if Onana were to come in, the Magpies would be looking to offload one of their midfield talents in response. With Bruno Guimaraes, Sean Longstaff, and young Lewis Miley all impressing, and the likes of Sandro Tonali, Joelinton, and local lad Elliot Anderson to return to the fold following suspensions and injuries respectively, perhaps the most obvious candidate for an exit is Joe Willock.
Limited to just six appearances across all competitions this season due to an ongoing Achilles tendon issue, the 24-year-old is facing the very real possibility of dropping out of relevance at St. James' Park - and that could spell trouble for his time on Tyneside. With the ambitions they hold, Newcastle will continue to recruit ferociously in transfer windows to come, but at a certain point, those new arrivals must come at the expense of certain players who have served them well up to this point.
Willock, while a fine addition to the dressing room, feels more dispensable than others, and to that end, it is not impossible to envisage him being offered up as ballast in some kind of player-plus-cash package. Maybe that could be for the likes of an Onana, or maybe it could be for somebody else, but certainly, both Newcastle and Everton could stand to profit if he were directed towards Goodison Park.