The £30m Aston Villa transfer deal Newcastle United should hijack this summer

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The Magpies are expected to be in the market for defensive reinforcements this summer

Stats are pesky things. Spotlit in the right way, from the right angle, they can be manipulated to illustrate just about any point, to act as ballast capable of justifying almost any hare-brained argument.

There are, however, some stats that are pretty indelible. Take, for instance, Newcastle United’s defensive record. Last season, the Magpies conceded 62 goals in the Premier League, almost double the tally of 33 that earned them the mantle of joint-stingiest backline in the division over the course of the 2022/23 campaign. The reasons for this drop off are likely manifold and complex, but the outcome is almost certain to be direct and simple; recruitment this summer.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

While Lloyd Kelly has already been parachuted in, there are strong arguments to be made for more acquisitions besides, with the centre of defence and both full-back areas looking fairly threadbare.

Which brings us to Matty Cash. The Aston Villa right-back has been the subject of plenty of speculative chatter in recent days, with a report from the New York Times claiming that AC Milan have made contact with Unai Emery’s side ahead a prospective summer swoop. It is understood that the Villans are demanding £30 million for the Poland international, and that, at the present moment in time, last season’s Serie A runners-up are unwilling to meet that valuation. As detailed, Milan ‘do not tend to spend so much on one player under their current ownership’. Instead, they are said to ‘often enquire about a large pool of players and assess their clubs’ valuations before proceeding’. In this case, £30 million for Cash has been deemed too high.

But, nevertheless, Milan’s interest and Villa’s subsequent response show that there is a deal waiting to be done for the defender - and it is a swoop that Newcastle should seriously consider. While the Magpies do have both Kieran Trippier and Tino Livramento as right-back options, the reality is that the former - 34 in September and out of contract next summer - no longer represents a long-term solution in his position, and the latter will require experienced cover and competition as he continues his development.

To that end, Cash feels like an ideal fit. The 26-year-old is very much in the prime of his career, and has proven himself to be a wonderfully adept presence both domestically and continentally in recent seasons. Solid in his own defensive third and a menace on the front foot, Cash is a well-rounded and thoroughly modern full-back.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Perhaps you could argue that there are other, more pressing positions which need strengthening before Newcastle turn their attention to signing a new right-back, but the facts of the matter are that players of Cash’s ilk are not always readily available and that if Eddie Howe’s men are to reestablish their Champions League qualification ambitions next term, wholesale defensive reinforcements will likely be needed.

If Milan do indeed drop out of the race for Cash, and if Villa are willing to sell for around £30 million, then the Magpies could do far, far worse than tabling a bid.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.