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Dan the man can be part of Toon plan
Don’t be fooled by the hype and rave reviews surrounding Cheick Tioté and Yohan Cabaye’s performances for Newcastle United so far this season – there’s another unsung hero at the Sports Direct Arena, and his name is Danny Guthrie.
The Liverpudlian midfielder, signed for £2.5million by Kevin Keegan in 2008, has long been a staple in the middle of the park for United, but his name is rarely in the headlines. It’s cropped up recently however, with the issue of his contract coming to the fore. Guthrie is free to leave Tyneside in the summer on a Bosman, and Aston Villa are reportedly interested. Alan Pardew, however, shouldn’t be entertaining that possibility just yet.
Guthrie is a technically gifted young man, still only 24, and with a lot to offer Newcastle as an attacking threat. Sure, he may not have the durability of Tioté, the composure of Cabaye, or flair of Hatem Ben Arfa, for example, but as a creative force Guthrie is still a valuable part of the United squad. On several occasions this season he’s stepped up in the absence of other ,‘bigger’ names and done well, namely against Stoke City and Everton.
It’s been easy for Toon fans to criticise the former Liverpool man, especially when he was paired up with James Perch in the 5-0 mauling at the hands of Tottenham, but such negativity is unfair, especially when considering United’s midfield options. Haris Vuckic, Mehdi Abeid and Dan Gosling are all possibilities for Pardew to consider, but all three are relatively inexperienced compared to Guthrie, who knows the division well and is essentially United’s third choice central midfielder.
He can pick a pass, knows how to drop into space when alongside a more defensive-minded player and has a great work rate; 89 appearances so far for Newcastle in four seasons indicates a player who has been valued by managers past and present on Tyneside, so letting him go would be a foolish move.
Guthrie has spoken of plans to stall contract talks until the summer, which isn’t surprising, given the current influx of new players at the club. Danny is one of few players left at the club from the pre-relegation season Newcastle United.
Hopefully, the club can give him the necessary assurances about his involvement in the first team set up at the club. He’s not a big name, wasn’t expensive, is still young and presumably is not a high earner at the Sports Direct Arena, all positives in Mike Ashley’s eyes, one would assume.
Guthrie can still develop into a vital piece of the black and white puzzle, which could yet end up in Europe, and if he’s given another chance to impress will doubtless seize the opportunity.
Posted by Newcastle United fan Nathan Hildred
Follow Nathan on Twitter @hills90
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