Darren Bent Exclusive: Int'l ace at PL giants would love Newcastle move, may cost £8m
Darren Bent claims that a move to Newcastle United could be the best thing for Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka after falling out of favour in north London.
The former Tottenham and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insists that the under-fire Gunner could do with getting away from London to somewhere that he can focus on his football.
The Times report that Magpies boss Steve Bruce is willing to hand the Swiss international a lifeline at St James’ Park as the 27-year-old eyes up a potential move away from the Emirates Stadium, feeling his place in the national side could be under threat with a lack of game time.
Bent drew on his experience of playing in the north east, highlighting how it helped him focus solely on football, and says that even a loan-to-buy move could benefit Xhaka greatly at this stage of his career.
Bent told Football Insider: “At the minute he’s not playing games. If he went to Newcastle he’d be one of the main men, playing week in, week out. From his perspective, if he wants to play games then yeah, I would probably go there.
“It’s a nice place to live. One thing I found when I went there, when you’re up there you can only concentrate on football and for me that was a big thing.
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“If I was him, I would do that, get a million miles away from anything. The Newcastle fans will back him, the Newcastle fans will get behind him, make him feel (welcome). If he puts in performances, he will think that is the best decision he ever made, leaving Arsenal and joining Newcastle.’
“If he goes there, does the business and does really well, they won’t have to pay that much for him. I reckon they’d have to pay between £8-10million to get him.”
Xhaka has 108 Premier League appearances under his belt since joining the Gunners from Borussia Monchengladbach, nine of those coming this season.
Bruce has the likes of Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden and Ki Seung-yung to choose from in the middle of the park, as well as young brothers Sean and Matty Longstaff.
In other Newcastle United news, Darren Bent has cast serious doubts over a “masterstroke” from Bruce.