Shay Given has been one of the most consistent performers in the Premier League for a number of years now and it seems high time that his excellent ability was rewarded. Should Manchester United or Arsenal come in with a bid for the keeper, there is no doubt that Given should do all he can to make the move happen.
The Irishman deserves to be playing Champions League football and he deserves to play for the best team possible. His loyalty to Newcastle United has to be commended – he has played over 350 league games for them after all – but perhaps it is about time he put his career first.
So, would the top teams in the Premier League want him? Well, Manchester United could do a lot, lot worse. Alex Ferguson has made it clear that finding a replacement for 38-year-old Edwin Van der Sar is one of his highest priorities. Therefore, why not go for someone who has proved time and time again that he is one of the best goalkeepers in England?
As for Arsenal, well they might be less likely to go for Given as he doesn’t fall into Arsene Wenger’s ‘young and promising’ category. However, should they feel they need a bit of leadership and should they feel they need a top class keeper to rely upon – look no further than Given!
There is no doubt that Given’s performance against Liverpool last weekend – even though he conceded five goals – has reminded everyone about what he can do. Therefore, the soccer betting odds are starting to suggest that he could move away from St James Park in next month’s January transfer window.
Newcastle are adamant that he is going nowhere though with Joe Kinnear insisting that ‘he won’t be leaving’. The Newcastle boss went on to say that Given is ‘very happy’ at the club and that he is ‘part of the city’.
I guess we will just have to wait and see how this develops. Given may well enjoy playing for Newcastle, but if one of the ‘big four’ come in with a decent bid, he and Newcastle may find it hard to turn down.
By Thomas Rooney – A sports writer who blogs about football betting advice