With West Ham centre-back James Tomkins now signed up at West Ham until 2016, has attention shifted elsewhere in the Championship for Alan Pardew?

It wouldn’t be the biggest surprise that Tomkins’ new contract has come as a result of Newcastle having shown a genuine interest.

Rumours now switch to Adrian Mariappa at Watford, a centre-back who has come through the ranks and already has over 200 games under his belt at the age of 25, a similar profile to Newcastle’s own Steven Taylor, albeit at a lower level.

Newcastle have allegedly had a bid of around £2m turned down today and now we’ll find out how highly Newcastle rate him.

Aged 25 and with only 18 months left on his contract he ticks at least two boxes for United, whether he is any good will hopefully have been measured up by Newcastle’s scouting system.

Watford are lower mid-table but reports suggest that Mariappa has been arguably their best performer, at 5 ft 10 the  defender averages less than one yellow card every ten games and has only ever been sent off once. Not being the tallest I can only assume he has a bit of pace and as well as his favoured centre-back position he has also filled in at right-back.

Overall, there is probably more value to be had with defenders rather than attackers in the lower league, if you can pick the right ones!

I suppose the question has to be, is he better than Williamson, or even Perch?