Rafa Benitez makes move for Jacob Murphy after impressing against Newcastle – Report
Newcastle United are reported on Monday morning to be favourites to sign Jacob Murphy.
The midfielder had his breakthrough season in 2015/16, playing his first full year of first team football when on loan at Coventry at the age of 20.
Playing alongside Adam Armstrong who scored 20 goals on loan from Newcastle, Jacob Murphy scored nine of his own as he started 29 League One matches and came off the bench 11 times.
Whilst Armstrong went out on another, this time largely disappointing, loan at Barnsley, Murphy instead returned to Norwich and starred last season.
Starting 32 Championship matches plus five as a sub, the midfielder registered an impressive nine league goals and six assists.
It was always possible that players would have caught Rafa Benitez’ eye during Newcastle’s second tier season and allegedly that is the case with Jacob Murphy.
He was arguably Norwich’s best player in the two games against Newcastle last season, scoring the first goal for the Canaries in the 2-2 draw at Carrow Road, whilst he got an assist when Cameron Jerome put Norwich 2-1 up at St James Park before then scoring himself to put the visitors 3-1 ahead with only 21 minutes left on the clock.
That game ended dramatically of course as Newcastle won 4-3, scoring only two minutes after Murphy’s goal and then two late goals in injury time.
After the match many Norwich supporters blamed Alex Neil and his substitutions/tactics, as soon as Murphy made it 3-1, he replaced him with defender Ryan Bennett in an attempt to see out the game. However, Norwich fans felt, probably rightly, that this simply invited Newcastle to attack.
The midfielder has a twin brother, Josh, who also plays for Norwich as a striker.
A two footed player, Jacob Murphy was part of the England Under 21s squad this summer, scoring the goal that put them through to the semi finals of the Under 21 Euros.
The player is being widely reported to be also chased by Southampton and Crystal Palace but with Newcastle most likely to land him and have a value of around £8m, although Norwich fans have reacted to the transfer story with claims that he is worth at least £12m in today’s market.
Since the Newcastle transfer link was published, a photo has circulated on social media which is claimed to show the two Murphy brothers as young kids in NUFC away shirts, with one set of grandparents apparently coming from the north east.
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