Newcastle United need to improve their midfield this summer.
Whether there’s a takeover or not, reinforcements are required in the middle of the park.
The Magpies have signed three centre-midfielders during the Steve Bruce era, all with varying degrees of success.
Nabil Bentaleb was a disaster. Jeff Hendrick has been underwhelming despite scoring two goals. Joe Willock has been a revelation.
Meanwhile Newcastle still have an out of sorts Jonjo Shelvey, an inconsistent Sean Longstaff, a defensive minded Isaac Hayden and a player who gets limited opportunities in Matty Longstaff.
The big problem surrounds Shelvey. The £12million man has been a consistent starter under Bruce. However, his form this season has been massively disappointing.
Yet Bruce continues to shoehorn him into the team, even putting him in defence in recent weeks.
Shelvey’s one big asset is his passing range. However, he has been largely ineffective in the final third this season.
On his day, not many players can do what Shelvey can. The issue is that his day doesn’t come around too often anymore.
Newcastle need a midfielder who can dictate play from deep and retain possession, as well as protect the defence.
Enter Sander Berge.
Sheffield United man could be ideal target for Newcastle
Despite doing so well last season, Sheffield United are set to return to the Championship.
The Blades have massively underperformed, despite investing big money.
They made Berge their record signing in January 2020, paying £22million for his services.
Despite flashes of brilliance, the Norwegian hasn’t really set the world alight at Bramall Lane. Whilst he’s a wonderful footballer, he hasn’t suited the system there.
But he is a player with a bright future who will surely leave Sheffield United this summer.
According to Sky Sports, Berge has a release clause this summer, and could be available for £35million.
Berge is a man in demand, with Arsenal and Everton reportedly keen.
The price tag could be a stumbling block for Newcastle if there is no takeover this summer.
But if money was no option, Berge would the perfect candidate to replace Shelvey in Newcastle’s midfield.
He is positive in possession and always looks to play it forwards. He can keep the ball, and is willing to run with it himself.
As time has gone on, Shelvey’s influence has waned. Newcastle need a fresh approach from the middle of the park, and Berge should be on the Magpies’ radar.
But as always with Newcastle under Mike Ashley, money could be an issue.