Before January 18th, it was hard to imagine Jetro Willems not signing for Newcastle.
But a season-ending injury against Chelsea threw his future into doubt.
The Dutch defender returned to Frankfurt, while Newcastle brought in a replacement. That man was Danny Rose, a player who was desperate for a chance after falling down the pecking order at Tottenham.
Initially, it looked like bad news for Willems. Rose arrived with a big reputation. He played in the Champions League final last season, while he also went to the 2018 World Cup with England.
However, the defender’s last two performances have left a lot to be desired.
Rose does not look like the player who was once recognised as the best left-back in the Premier League. In contrast, he seems lethargic and unable to influence the game.
Whilst this isn’t good for Newcastle’s immediate future, it’s certainly a big help to Willems.
And considering a deal was reportedly agreed last summer when he arrived on loan, Newcastle must trigger that clause and bring him back.
Rose might improve. Here’s hoping he does. But at the end of the day, he turns 30 this summer. He isn’t going to have too many years left at the top level.
In contrast, Willems could be our left-sided defender for years to come.
He was a huge hit during the first half of the season, scoring two cracking goals against Liverpool and Manchester City.
As it stands, it’s Willems who we should sign permanently in the summer, not Rose.