This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Premier League side Newcastle United are currently keeping tabs on Fulham centre-back Tosin Adarabioyo ahead of the January transfer window, according to The Times.
The Magpies currently sit three points adrift of safety in the top flight, though 17th-placed Watford currently have a game in hand over them and could see the Hornets pull away if they make the most of this advantage.
In Eddie Howe’s quest to guide his side to survival, he is already reported to have been monitoring multiple EFL stars ahead of the upcoming window, with Stoke City forward Tyrese Campbell and AFC Bournemouth centre-back Steve Cook both being linked with a move to St James’ Park in recent weeks.
Quiz: Have Fulham signed a player from each of these 20 clubs in the last 5 seasons?
24-year-old Adarabioyo is the latest man to be attracting interest from the top-tier side, having previously been monitored by Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers, though it is currently unclear whether he will be allowed to leave Craven Cottage or not with his current side sitting at the top of the Championship table as things stand and are currently in pole position to seal a return to the top flight.
This latest development begs two key questions. Firstly, should the Cottagers look to cash in on him at this stage? And secondly, how much is he worth in today’s climate?
We asked three of our writers at Football League World for their verdict on these talking points.
Adarabioyo is set to be a crucial player for Fulham in attempting to stay up in the Premier League last season and should not be allowed to leave, unless the Magpies offer silly money.
The former Manchester City man formed a solid partnership with Joachim Andersen in the second half of last season and if the Cottagers were more dynamic in the final third, he would have played a huge role in setting a platform for the club to compete against relegation.
Fulham have the financial wherewithal to convince him to commit his future to the club after winning promotion this season, and with that looking likely they should continue to fend off any interest that comes next month.
They simply cannot afford to cash in on the player in January unless the money is crazy.
Tosin has been an excellent addition for Fulham since signing permanently, and he has all the attributes to go and play in the Premier League for a long time, so it’s no surprise to see Newcastle are interested.
However, from Fulham’s perspective, losing key players mid-season can’t happen as they push for promotion, so unless the Magpies put up a truly ridiculous amount of money then they have to say no because returning to the top-flight is worth way over £100m to the club.
In terms of Tosin’s value, he’s worth around £15-20m in normal circumstances. That’s when you take into account he still has 18 months left on his deal and the fact he is only 24, so he has the potential to get even better.
Therefore, Newcastle would need to make a big offer over that to even bring the Londoners to the table.
Whilst that can’t be ruled out with their owners, realistically, it’s hard to see that happening and for Fulham the ideal way this plays out is with Tosin helping them to promotion this season.
It doesn’t seem worth Fulham cashing in on Adarabioyo at this moment in time in all honesty.
Right now the Cottagers are making a big push for promotion back to the Premier League, and Adarabioyo has played a big part in that for them.
As a result, it doesn’t seem to make much sense for them to sell him, especially to a side who face a huge task if they are to avoid relegation to the Championship during the second half of this season.
Indeed, with the centre back’s contract at Craven Cottage not set to expire until the end of next season, there is no real pressure on Fulham to sell the 24-year-old during the January transfer window.
That, combined with the obvious funds that Newcastle have available to them, mean that Fulham could demand a huge amount for Adarabioyo next month, so it could be argued that a fee of at least £30m may be needed for this deal to get done.