Emery set to take over at Newcastle
In something of a coup for the new owners, it seems as though former Arsenal boss Unai Emery may be the man taking over the Newcastle hot seat, with the reliable David Ornstein revealing that he is the number one target for the Magpies.
🚨 EXCL: Newcastle manager search down to final 2 — Unai Emery + Eddie Howe. Emery preferred candidate. Will come down to whether #NUFC are prepared to meet 49yo’s personal terms & pay the sort or money he was on at Arsenal. Compensation to Villarreal €6m https://t.co/qDwX4ANuTA
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) November 2, 2021
Meanwhile, other sources suggest that the move could happen as soon as the weekend, with the Spaniard expected to be in the dugout by the time the Tyneside club take on Brighton on Saturday evening.
NUFC expect to appoint Unai Emery before the weekend. More to follow @MailSport
— Craig Hope (@CraigHope_DM) November 2, 2021
But how would his appointment affect transfer policy, and the use of players already at the club?
Joe Willock an Unai Emery favourite
It is hard to imagine Joe Willock not having a prominent role under any incoming manager. Signed for 25 million pounds in the summer, he was the Magpies only permanent transfer business conducted, and they have invested what was previously a lot of money into him.
Under Emery, this is almost beyond doubt. Only strike pair Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre Emerick Aubamayenag scored more goals during Emery’s Arsenal reign than the youngster, despite Willock making just 23 appearances under the Spanish coach’s tutelage.
It is clear that Emery likes the player too: speaking on Willock’s Arsenal future in October 2019, the Spanish coach said:
“He deserved to start this season with the first-team and with us. My decision was after I saw him the last two months of last season working with us, his really big challenge was that Jack Wilshere left here, Aaron Ramsey left and he had to take that opportunity to be with us.
“I told him he is improving but he needs to not stop that improvement, we are working with him to improve even more.
“But, if his progression keeps going the way it is going right now, I don’t know when he will stop and how far he can go.”
Willock, meanwhile, thrived off Emery’s management, saying:
“It’s very exciting because we have a manager who wants to play youngsters”
[Quotes via the London Evening Standard]
Clearly then, there is a working relationship already in place between the two that could be continued should Emery become the man tasked with steering Newcastle out of the relegation dogfight they currently find themselves in.
It is hard to say the same about a potential incoming.
Is a move for Aaron Ramsey off?
One of the names that has been perpetually linked with Newcastle since their new owners took the helm has been former Gunner Aaron Ramsey. Now plying his trade in the Serie A with Juventus, the Welshman has struggled for game-time, managing just a sole League start all the way back in September. Clearly then, he is out of favour under Max Allegri, leaving his future in the air.
It was not under Emery that Ramsey enjoyed his finest football, however. The Welshman struggled to nail down a starting spot, making 14 appearances from the bench to go with 14 starts for Unai Emery, while he was let go on a free at the end of the Spaniard’s only full season in charge in north London.
On whose door the blame lies for his release remains an open question, with reports suggesting Emery was not keen on the midfielder due to not being able to press sufficiently in his system. Certainly, the lack of regular game-time supports this.
However, one thing is certain, and that is that the club took the offer of a new contract off the table, with former manager Arsene Wenger revealing that:
‘They had an agreement and the club came back on that, from what I understood.”
Whether this was due to his lack of game-time under Emery or other factors is unclear, but what does seem clear is that the pair never really saw eye to eye.
With this in mind, Newcastle might well be minded to look elsewhere for January reinforcements.
This article was edited by Josh Barker.
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