Eddie Howe delivers Matt Targett verdict as Newcastle United consider permanent swoop

Matt Targett’s performances have already got Newcastle United fans calling to turn his loan from Aston Villa into a permanent deal.

<p>Matt Targett of Newcastle United warms up prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Everton at St. James Park on February 08, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)</p>

Matt Targett of Newcastle United warms up prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Everton at St. James Park on February 08, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Eddie Howe has delivered his verdict on Matt Targett’s time at Newcastle United so far - but was coy over talk of a permanent swoop.

It has been revealed over the last 24 hours that the Magpies have a £15million option to buy the left-back at the end of the season.

That would certainly be a popular move among supporters with the 26-year-old excelling on Tyneside following his arrival from Aston Villa.

Targett has slotted straight into United’s starting XI. In the four matches he’s played, Newcastle have won three, drawn one and conceded just three goals.

When asked if he saw Targett as part of his long-term plans, Howe said: “It’s a difficult one. I sort of won’t answer that but I will say how well I think he’s done.

“Very consistent, he’s fitted in well on and off the pitch. Very intelligent player with and without the ball. I think he’s been excellent.

“Very happy with him.”

Targett, when asked about a permanent move to United this summer, did not rule out the idea, though gave a coy response, just like Howe.

“It’s just focusing on the here and now,” the full-back said.

“At the moment, I’m just focusing on my own performances, helping the team and making sure we don’t get relegated.

“Whatever happens after that happens. I’m really enjoying my time here.”

Targett is set to come up against his former club Southampton on Thursday evening as United look to extend their unbeaten run to nine matches.