Newcastle United Or Leeds United – Who Should Robert Snodgrass Join This Summer?
Robert Snodgrass finds himself in a bit of a sticky situation at West Ham United. The 29-year old Scottish international joined the Hammers only in January after an impressive start to the Premier League campaign with Hull City. However, he finds himself close to the exit doors at the London Stadium, following a poor second half of the season.
Having begun the 2016/17 season in a fine fashion for the Tigers, where he managed to score 9 goals and 4 assists in 24 games, Snodgrass was snapped up by Slaven Bilic’s side for a fee of £10.2million. But following the move, his form saw a steep decline and finished the season for his new club with just 2 assists from 15 games.
West Ham signed Marko Arnautovic from Stoke City last week and have been strongly linked with a move for Lazio’s Keita Balde Diao as well, casting dark clouds over the future of Snodgrass. Amidst this, there have been reports of interest in the Scotsman from fellow Premier League side Newcastle United and the player’s former club – Leeds United (Football.London).
With a summer exit being a strong possibility for Snodgrass, should he stay in the Premier League by joining Newcastle, or return to his old stomping ground with Leeds?
Snodgrass had a successful four-year spell with Leeds United between 2008 and 2012. Having joined from Scottish side Livingston FC, the attacker went on to make a total of 187 appearances for the Whites, scoring 41 times and setting up 40 more in his time at the club, before leaving for Norwich City.
Leeds have been chasing the promotion to the Premier League, but haven’t been able to achieve it. Someone of Snodgrass’ ability and quality will aid their bid for a return to the top-flight. However, new manager Thomas Christiansen is building a squad in his own image and has brought in several players who operate in similar areas as Snodgrass.
With the likes of Ezgjan Alioski, Pablo Hernandez, Kemar Roofe, Stuart Dallas, Hadi Sacko and Souleymane Doukara all in the ranks, it is unlikely that Leeds would sign a new attacking player. Even if they do want to sign Snodgrass, it might be hard to convince him to take a drop to the second tier, from the Premier League.
On the other hand, Newcastle United will offer him a chance to stay in the Premier League, having achieved promotion from the EFL Championship last season. An opportunity work with a manager as reputed and successful as Rafael Benitez will also appeal to the player.
Newcastle also have talented wide players in the form of Matt Ritchie, new signings Jacob Murphy and Christian Atsu and youngster Rolando Aarons. However, they do lack a proper No.10 in the ranks that can slot in behind the striker and create and score goals for them. Snodgrass has proven himself to be quite capable of operating in such a position.
Snodgrass has the technical ability and the vision required to excel in that role and has shown he can be a huge goal threat if he gets going. He may not be a world class player, but he certainly has the ability to make Newcastle a better team in the attacking third.
Despite the lure of returning to a club where it all began for him in England with Leeds, Snodgrass would be better off moving to Newcastle as it will offer him a chance to continue playing in the English top flight and more chances of regular football.