Exclusive: Ex-Newcastle player says transfer ‘should be done’ if ‘instrumental’ play continues

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Latest Newcastle United transfer news includes exclusive quotes on a potential summer window deal for the Magpies

Former Newcastle United defender Olivier Bernard believes the Magpies will look to sign Matt Targett on a permanent deal if he continues his impressive form.

The Aston Villa full-back moved to Tyneside on loan until the end of the season during the final hours of the January transfer window.

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After making an encouraging debut in the 3-1 win against Everton, Targett watched from the sidelines as a Kieran Trippier goal saw off his parent club at St James Park.

He returned to Eddie Howe’s starting lineup for Saturday’s visit to West Ham and rewarded the United manager with another solid display in a 1-1 draw at the London Stadium.

Targett already looks to be playing a key role in preserving Newcastle’s Premier League status this season - and Bernard can see a longer-term future on Tyneside for the former Southampton and Fulham full-back.

He told NewcastleWorld: “I think it’s a bit early to say that a permanent deal should be done but that should happen if he continues playing the way he has so far.

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“Targett has been instrumental in the back-four, especially with he plays the attacking side of being a full-back.

“He brings something different to the side, he has a nice balance between defending and attacking, which some other players in that position don’t have.

“Before the transfer window, we were talking about needing leaders and players that have played week-in, week-out in the Premier League.

Dan Burn has done that, he’s solid, he’s experienced, he knows the Premier League and Targett is exactly the same.

“He has been a really good signing.”

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The signing of Targett and Paul Dummett’s return to fitness led to Eddie Howe’s decision to cut Jamal Lewis from his 25-man Premier League squad.

The Northern Ireland international has endured mixed fortunes since joining Newcastle in a £15million deal from Norwich City in September 2020.

Lewis has continued to train alongside the Magpies first-team despite being linked with a loan move to Turkey earlier this month.

Jamal Lewis was left out of Newcastle United’s 25-man squad. Jamal Lewis was left out of Newcastle United’s 25-man squad.
Jamal Lewis was left out of Newcastle United’s 25-man squad. | AFP via Getty Images

There remains doubt over where his long-term future lies - but Bernard believes the 24-year-old can benefit from Targett’s presence and work his way back into favour next season.

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“Jamal Lewis is an exciting player, he is someone I really rate, despite the fact he was dropped from the Premier League squad.

“You learn from the best and when Lewis arrived, nobody has shown him that position and helped him pick up the game in the way a full-back needs to do.

“Targett has come in and I think Lewis can learn from him.

“Targett doesn’t excel in everything, but he is just very good at everything he needs to do as a player.

“Lewis is still somebody that Newcastle need to keep and I hope he learns what he needs to with Targett at the club.”

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