Coming into the summer window, whenever that may be, one of the decisions NUFC bosses need to make is who will fill the left-back role – will it be Danny Rose? Or Jetro Willems? Or neither of the above?
While both are currently on loan at the club, Willems was brought in earlier in the season with a view to becoming the long-term solution for Newcastle in the left-back position.
However, when Willems picked up a season-ending injury in January, the club needed to replace him. To do so, they brought in England left-back Danny Rose on a six-month loan from Tottenham Hotspur.
Rose, who is currently 29-years-old, has made just six appearances for Newcastle in his short tenure on Tyneside so far. To be fair, we haven’t really been given much of an opportunity to see what he can do close up.
However, over the course of his career Rose has proven himself to be a very decent Premier League full-back – but his attitude and commitment has always thrown up a few red flags.
Then comes the issue of finances. Rose will likely cost NUFC a figure in the region of, or north of, £10m. Currently, TransferMarkt value the Englishman at £14.4m.
To me, that’s a pretty hefty fee for a player who turns 30 in July and is, in my opinion, very far past his best.
By contrast, Jetro Willems – who is three years younger and has a genuine desire to play for the club – is valued at £4.95m. However, the club have an option in Willems’ loan to bring him on board permanently for a fee reportedly in the region of £7m.
On top of all that, we’ve seen a lot more of Willems this season. While his debut against Arsenal was a slight disaster, he seriously picked up in the games that followed. The Dutchman even pitched in with goals against Liverpool and Manchester City.
His partnership with fan favourite Allan Saint-Maximin down the left-hand side was clear for all to see. Their friendship away from the field is evident from their interactions on social media too.
Willems has made a grand total of 20 appearances for the club in all competitions this season, registering two goals and three assists.
By the rankings on WhoScored.com – only four NUFC players have averaged a higher match rating than Willems this season (Saint-Maximin, Jonjo Shelvey, Ciaran Clark and Fabian Schar).
Meanwhile, Rose ranks 23rd on the list – putting up an average rating of 6.29 per game as opposed to 6.84 from Willems. The Dutchman also averages more crosses, more tackles, more interceptions, more blocks and more key passes than Rose.
For me personally, it seems an absolute no brainer which one the club should bring back this summer.
Willems is cheaper, younger and – based off what I’ve seen this season – a much better fit for this team. What do you think? Should Willems be the one to come back to NUFC this summer? Leave us a comment below and let us know your thoughts.