Young? Check. Home grown? Check. Bargain price? Check. Currently injured? Check.
Sky Sports sources understand that Newcastle have placed Steven Taylor on the transfer list.
The defender, currently sidelined with a shoulder injury, will be out of contract at the end of the season.
The Magpies had been keen to keep Taylor but his agent Paul Stretford recently admitted that negotiations over an extension were not progressing smoothly.
Newcastle have now decided to make Taylor available for transfer after he turned down their latest offer of a new deal.
The proposal was thought to be in the region of £40,000-a-week, while Taylor’s representatives wanted something closer to £60,000.
The 24-year-old has been with Newcastle since the start of his career and played a key role in helping the club earn promotion back to the Premier League. (Sky Sports)
Steven Taylor has proven himself to be a capable defender both in the Premier League and the Championship, but has struggled with injuries in the last few seasons, which makes the £60,000 being requested a somewhat audacious claim.
Although Taylor was born in London, he moved to the north-east just weeks after birth. He has been with Newcastle United ever since he was a youth player – and has even captained the side.
With Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini and new signing Sol Campbell as competition for a centre back slot, Taylor’s place in the side was in question, and his refusal to sign a new contract means Newcastle would rather transfer list him now than lose him for free in a year’s time.
Taylor’s leadership quality and never-say-die approach are admirable qualities in a central defender. However, while clearly a talented player his inflated opinion of himself is hardly justified. Having made just 23 appearances last season for a club in the second tier of English football, can he really say he is worth £60,000 per week?
Nevertheless it is unsurprising to see Arsenal immediately linked to the player. Gunners manager Arsene Wenger has very publicly stated that the club are in the market for a centre half, and with Taylor most probably available in a cut-price deal, he could prove a bargain option.
As a young English player who satisfies the new home grown rules, he represents an attractive option for many Premier League clubs, and while Arsenal have ball-playing central defenders in Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny, an agricultural player with a similar style to John Terry would be a tremendous option to call on – particularly in games against Chelsea, when it is a clear weakness.
Any news of Steven Taylor though is an excuse to show just how far he is willing to go for his side… as this classic video demonstrates: