Why Newcastle United must go all out to sign Ryan Manning in January
Last month, the Football Insider (h/t The Daily Mail) had claimed that Newcastle United scouted QPR full-back Ryan Manning against Leeds.
The Irishman, 23, has been nothing short of a revelation since being transformed from a hardworking central midfielder into a barnstorming left-back by QPR boss Mark Warburton. He has made 22 appearances in the Championship so far this season, bagging a goal and three assists.
Ryan Manning is out of contract at Loftus Road in the summer and is expected to be available for between just £2million and £3million. QPR, who sit 13th in the Championship table, do have an option to extend his contract by 12 months, the report adds. (h/t The Daily Mail)
Newcastle, meanwhile, are tenth in the Premier League having recovered from a slow start to the season. Steve Bruce has adopted Rafael Benitez’s three-man defence and that means the Magpies need plenty of options at the heart of their defence.
They have Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schar, Federico Fernandez, Ciaran Clark and Florian Lejeune.
But Lascelles, Schar and Lejeune have all been injured recently, while Clark has been used in different positions across the defence. Thus, a new centre-back should be targeted in January by Bruce. In addition, Newcastle also need competition and cover for Jetro Willems.
Willems arrived this summer on a season-long loan from Eintracht Frankfurt and has become a popular figure with fans having deputised excellently for the injured Matt Ritchie at left wing-back.
He has contributed with two goals and as many assists, giving Bruce and Newcastle all good reasons to turn his loan move permanent in April.
However, Newcastle could do with another body at left wing-back, and signing Ryan Manning would be a step in the right direction. The arrival of Manning would add some real quality to Bruce’s defensive unit.
For all the 23-year-old’s qualities, he’s a high-flying left wing-back who can make a difference in the final third of the pitch.
While he’s excellent going forward, the QPR man isn’t defensively sound and that’s something he needs to improve if he’s to thrive in Bruce’s system. But Manning has enormous potential and can take his game to the next level under the Magpies boss.
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As per WhoScored.com, Manning has registered an average of 2.1 tackles, 1.5 interceptions, 1.5 clearances and 0.1 blocks in 22 Championship games. Going forward, he has averaged two key passes, 1 shot per game and won 1.7 aerial duels.
At the age of 23, Manning has plenty of time to develop his game. He is a decent full-back and Newcastle would be wise to sign him from QPR in January.