- 8 Dec 2023
Anthony Gordon can be Newcastle's £45m golden boy
Anthony Gordon has stumbled through the door at Newcastle.
The youngster, who St James’ Park raucously jeered back in October following his tussle with Kieran Trippier, has joined for an eventual £45m from Everton, marking the first signing for Eddie Howe this window. We hear the club still remain in talks with West Ham over full-back Harrison Ashby but the quest for a central-midfielder seems parked until the summer.
News of the Magpies wanting a player who could operate on the forward-line spiralled a string of top names linked to the side. Moussa Diaby of Bayer Leverkusen was thought to be one of the targets again, as too was Edouard Michut of Paris Saint-Germain, Terem Moffi of Lorient, James Maddison at Leicester, and Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech.
But it's Gordon who they have brought in. There’s no getting away from the fact that the addition of the 21-year-old has raised eyebrows. The manner of his departure from Finch Farm - missing three consecutive days of training (one sanctioned) - has also set off alarm bells by some who questioned the winger's character. But you only have to look back to the way in which Virgil van Dijk forced his move from Southampton to Liverpool to see that such behaviour doesn’t always translate to failure at a new club. Gordon has that mean streak in him - or that dawg, as the kids say today - and this is half the reason that Howe wanted him so badly.
The likes of Luis Suarez, Didier Drogba, Pepe, Diego Costa, Sergio Ramos and even Joelinton are cut from the same cloth. That burning energy that, if channelled in the right way, can breed success on the pitch. Newcastle are one of the fieriest sides in the league and you can see how Gordon’s personality would slot in nicely.
Gordon is an immense carrier - he has the ability to beat his man, generate chances, and even scored. He has made 21 shots this season and scored three goals, the second-highest of any Everton player. It’s not ground-breaking, but 0.23 goals per 90 speak of a footballer who’s certainly cut for this level and, given his age, can develop.
Howe knows Gordon’s quality in the Premier League. When opting for players in foreign leagues there is an element of risk attached. That’s not the case with Gordon. He knows the style of the league and has proved himself to be of this level. In his move comes a degree of safety in that regard.
It’s possible that Newcastle have paid slightly over the odds for him, but this is what happens when things are left until the very end of the transfer window.
Howe has proved that he is able to get the most out of even the most underwhelming signings. The purchase of Dan Burn from Brighton didn’t exactly set the world alight but he’s the regular left-back. Sven Botman, Bruno Guimaraes, Nick Pope, Alexander Isak, and Trippier have been seamless; Miguel Almiron, Fabian Schar, Joelinton and Joe Willock rejuvenated. If Gordon’s great potential needs to be realised through the nurturing of a top coach then you could not find a much better option than Howe.
Gordon's Newcastle ambition
Gordon is a fan of the city of Newcastle. As a boyhood Liverpool supporter, we hear, he sees the similarities between the two clubs; two large teams where football is almost a religion. There is more to offer, he feels, than somewhere like Chelsea, where the bustling nightlife and size of the place represented a distraction for him.
He took the advice of former Everton player Ross Barkley over his time in west London and how it impacted his playing career.
Gordon has played for England many times at youth level but has ambitions to get into the Three Lions' first-team. He sees Newcastle as the way into this - and it's under Howe where this can be a viable future for the youngster.