This is my first article in my series of scout reports on transfer targets for Newcastle United. In this first article, I will be looking at Fulham midfielder Tom Cairney. The Scotsman has been very heavily linked with Newcastle in the past few weeks with Benitez apparently being a big fan of him. These articles will continue throughout the summer break as Newcastle are linked with more and more players.

Background info
Cairney started his career at Hull City in 2007 and was named their young player of the year for 2008/09. During his time at Hull City, he made 80 appearances and managed five goals. In the 2013/14 season, he was loaned out to Blackburn Rovers who subsequently made his loan spell permanent. After two seasons at Blackburn, he was purchased by Fulham for an undisclosed fee. During his entire career, he has played 285 times and notched up 35 goals.

Style of play

Cairney can play as either a central midfielder or a more advanced attacking midfielder. He’s displayed a wide variety of technical skills ranging from neat, intricate passes; beating his man with ease, and his killer longshots. But the highlight of his game has to be his shooting from distance. His sweet left boot allows him to curl shots from long range, the pick of the bunch has to be his fantastic goal against Newcastle in Fulham’s 3-1 win over the Toon.

Pros

I’m a big fan of Cairney and I think he would be a welcome addition to the squad. There’s a massive flaw in the current squad which is when Shelvey is missing, there’s no creative outlet in the midfield and I believe he can fill that gap. I’m not a fan of Diame and Perez can be inconsistent so he could also play a big part there. In Rafa’s system, he plays an out and out striker partnered with an attacking midfielder who can drop deeper. In my opinion, Cairney would thrive in that system where he could drop back and create and then get further forward and assist in attacks.

Cons
Obviously, there is a massive risk when buying a Championship player for the Premier League. The chance he could flop is very high. Although, I think he’s ready to make the move up a league but the backroom staff have to keep this in mind. Another stumbling block is the price. Fulham have stated they want £20 million for him but Newcastle are only willing to pay £15 million.


But I do think Newcastle will have the upper hand in negotiations.

Feature image credit: Martin Le Roy

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