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Opinion

Jacob Murphy – From on his way out to on his way to signing a new deal

2 months ago
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Having spent the previous 18 months on loan at West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield Wednesday, Jacob Murphy can’t have turned up at pre-season training in the summer with high hopes of resurrecting his Newcastle United career.

Signed in 2017 from Norwich City following our promotion from the Championship, there were high hopes for the high flying young winger.

However, despite showing flashes of talent, including scoring an excellent goal away at Manchester City, Murphy never looked comfortable at the top level, and quickly seemed to lose the faith of manager Rafael Benitez.

Jacob Murphy seemed drained of confidence and this was evident during a poor spell at West Brom in the Championship, a level where he had previously impressed.

When he was loaned to Sheffield Wednesday for the 2019-20 season, his career with the club he had grown up supporting as a boy appeared to be over.

However, Murphy enjoyed a strong season at Hillsborough, playing 44 games, scoring nine goals and claiming six assists. He finished the season particularly well after football resumed following the suspension due to Covid-19, claiming four of his goals and assists in the last eight games of the season.

Playing in a slightly unfamiliar position as right wing back, his fitness and speed saw him emerge as a real force for Wednesday and inject life into his career.

Returning to Newcastle this summer with just a year left of his contract it was expected that Murphy would move on again, either on loan or permanently.

However, he impressed Bruce and his staff and was named in Newcastle’s 25 man Premier League squad. Although he was left out of the matchday squad for the first two league games, he played well in the League Cup, coming off the bench for half an hour against Blackburn, and was then our best player on the pitch in the 7-0 thrashing of Morecambe.

This earned him a place on the bench against Tottenham and an appearance for the last 15 minutes. Not featuring against Burnley or Manchester United, Murphy found himself unexpectedly in the first team against Wolves, playing in the right wing back position as Bruce reverted to a back three.

Murphy hasn’t looked back. He scored a great free kick to salvage a point against Wolves and has kept his place in the team for the subsequent fixtures against Everton, Southampton and Chelsea.

From being on the brink of leaving the club he is reported to now be on the verge of signing a new contract. If it does happen, it will be fully deserved for a player who refused to give up on his dream of making an impact with the team who he grew up supporting as a boy.

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