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Defender leaves international camp early and misses game to complete Newcastle move early

3 weeks ago
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Ian Baraclough stated on Saturday that Jamal Lewis definitely wouldn’t be leaving his international squad early.

It had been rumoured that the Norwich defender would cut short his international commitments in order to complete his move to Newcastle United sooner rather than later.

A price of around £15m plus add-ons reported to have been agreed between the two clubs.

Now on Monday we have had it confirmed that Jamal Lewis has…left his international squad early.

The 22 year old played the full game on Friday as Northern Ireland drew 1-1 against Romania in Bucharest.

However, Jamal Lewis misses the Nations League game against Norway tonight in Belfasr.

Instead, the left-back is on his way to Tyneside to get the final pieces of his transfer in place and take a medical.

Sky Sports announcing the decision by the player and then when the Northern Ireland team and subs were announced for the 7.45pm kick-off, the absence of Jamal Lewis from the matchday squad confirmed the news.

Peacock-Farrell, Smith, Cathcart, Ballard, Dallas, Thompson, Davis, Saville, Ferguson, McNair, Washington

Subs – Galbraith, McLaughlin, McGinn, Boyce, Lafferty, McGovern, Evans, Cooper, McCalmont, Lavery, Carson

With the Premier League match against West Ham only five days away, Newcastle desperately need Jamal Lewis in training with the squad at the earliest opportunity.

Steve Bruce confirmed at the weekend that Paul Dummett has now got yet another injury problem, meaning no fit and available left-back unless / until Jamal Lewis signs up.

On Saturday, Manquillo was once again asked to play out of position on the left and looked uncomfortable there, whilst Yedlin was poor on the right and should have done far better on Stoke’s winning goal. Ciaran Clark and Matt Ritchie have both at times filled in as emergency left-backs but the pair were also nowhere to be seen, Bruce confirming after the game that they are both injured as well.

Paul Dummett hasn’t played any competitive football for eight months due to injury and has been plagued by injuries season after season, in contrast Jamal Lewis featured in 37 of Norwich’s 38 PL matchday squads last season and as well as a pre-season with Norwich, is training and playing for Northern Ireland.

If / when he does sign, Jamal Lewis would be clearly fit enough to play against West Ham next Saturday and even though he would only have a few days training at most with his new NUFC teammates, he will surely start.

We all know that Mike Ashley should not have done his usual trick of leaving key signings far too later.

However, a good sign that Jamal Lewis is so keen to get to Tyneside ASAP and hopefully make himself available for Saturday.

Earlier today, Callum Wilson and then Ryan Fraser both had their moves to NUFC officially confirmed.

Ian Baraclough asked on Saturday whether Jamal Lewis would be leaving the Northern Ireland camp early to complete a move to Newcastle United – As quoted by the Pink Un:

“I spoke to Jamal [Lewis] before we came in [about a potential transfer happening] and again face to face, his head’s in a good place.

“He knows chances may come and go, club speculation, but he deals with that very well.

“I’ve not noticed any disappointment in his work or in his play, he’s okay.

“He won’t be leaving the camp [to complete a move], he’s been part of the group recovery [on Saturday].

“I have heard nothing so I’m hoping he’s at dinner.

“The Liverpool one is probably gone for now but there’s no reason why it may not come back in a year or two’s time, there are a lot of clubs being linked with him.

“He knows that at the right time he and his family will make a decision of benefit to him.

“Because one club doesn’t happen for him, it doesn’t mean other clubs aren’t interested.”

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