Former Newcastle United centre-back Steve Howey had said Fulham defender Tosin Adarabioyo could make the step back up to the Premier League in the summer after being relegated with Fulham, in an exclusive interview with the Football Transfer Tavern.
23-year-old Adarabioyo made 33 Premier League appearances for the west London side last season – and was considered one of their better players despite not being able to save the Cottagers from the Premier League drop.
According to a Daily Mail report earlier this month, the central defender is currently subject of interest from Arsenal and Newcastle United, with David Luiz leaving the Gunners this summer and William Saliba’s future at the Emirates Stadium looking more uncertain.
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And with top-flight rivals already investing in a new centre-back, signing Nathan Collins from Stoke City for a £12m fee, Newcastle manager Steve Bruce may also dip into the transfer market as he looks to consolidate the Tyneside club’s status as a Premier League side.
The same Daily Mail article also states there is a £10m release clause either side could trigger if they want to bypass Fulham and go straight to the negotiating table with Adarabioyo – and pundit Steve Howey believes he could be a good asset to have.
Speaking to the Transfer Tavern on this potential deal, Howey said: “Normally what tends to happen is clubs that get relegated, other clubs will pick the carcass off it and they just pick the best players. Look at what happened to Bournemouth last year, for example.
“Decent player. Could he perform even better with some solid players around him? You know, possibly.”
With a tempting release clause in play though, Newcastle will have to act quickly on Howey’s advice if they want to beat Arsenal and other interested sides to his signature. However, it is currently unknown how much owner Mike Ashley will make available for Bruce to spend in the next couple of months, with uncertainty surrounding the club.
With their limited finances, Newcastle fans would probably be the more grateful to get Adarabioyo on board and the Fulham man could excel alongside the likes of Fabian Schar and Jamaal Lascelles.
Schar is a full international for Switzerland and scored a penalty as they beat France in the European Championships last night. That kind of experience on the biggest stage is likely to be a huge benefit to the 23-year-old if he joins and learns from the Swiss defender. And even with Covid, £10m is not a huge amount of money in today’s Premier League – potentially tempting Mike Ashley to take a chance on him.
For Arsenal, their focus looks to be on Ben White with the Brighton and Hove Albion defender linked with a gigantic £50m move to North London, so to get Adarabioyo for £10m instead may enrage Gunners fans.
So in this case, it looks like Newcastle are the front runners in this one – but Fulham are unlikely to sell him for a penny less than the £10m released clause. With no manager currently at Craven Cottage though, don’t expect anything to happen imminently on this potential move.