By Laura O'Leary

14th Dec, 2017 | 6:43am

Benitez must make dazzling PL ace reportedly available in Jan his number one Newcastle priority

COMMENT

After emerging as the bookies’ second favourite to sign Theo Walcott, Newcastle United should do their utmost to sign the attacker from Arsenal.

With Arsene Wenger willing to let the attacker go, the Magpies wouldn’t have to break the bank to get him in January, which is a bonus considering the current takeover situation.

Walcott is the ideal man to lead the Magpies to Premier League survival given his vast experience in the league.

Premier League experience is vital to a club battling relegation, and Newcastle United don’t have a lot of it – Benitez is working mostly with the team he had in the Championship last season.

The few signings Rafa Benitez did make for the club in the summer were players who had never played in England, let alone the Premier League.

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Walcott has made 267 appearances in the Premier League, despite only being 28-years-old, which makes him 180th in the all-time list of appearances in the league.

The attacker is surrounded by players on that list who have long since retired, including Premier League icons David Beckham and Thierry Henry.

It’s not just his experience that would benefit the club, but also his proven ability to grab goals in this league.

It’s no secret that the Magpies have struggled to score this season, averaging only a goal a game.

This has been a key factor in their fall down the table, which has left them in 16th two points clear of the relegation zone.

Walcott could be the man to score the Magpies’ goals from January – he has previously scored 65 Premier League goals, and most of those have come when he has been stuck out on the wing.

Benitez has a reputation for getting the best out of players, and if he could channel Walcott’s attacking threat, he could be capable of single handily firing Newcastle United away from danger.

Also another reason to prioritise getting the Arsenal ace is that Newcastle United fans are well known for loving attacking football. And Walcottt is the man to deliver the football they love, with direct attacking play.

Walcott would be a feel-good signing as well and and if having a player like Walcott in the team could get the fans singing again, that could have a positive effect on the team.

There is one downside to Walcott’s game and that is tracking back –  the attacker has let Arsenal down before by failing to provide defensive cover.

However, despite their recent games, Newcastle United have proven to be pretty solid at the back and Benitez could afford the luxury of Walcott.

If Walcott was allowed to play with freedom, who knows how many goals he could score?

 

In other Newcastle United transfer news, it is reported that a bid has been placed for one of the club’s top attacking targets.

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