Newcastle United ‘ready to sell’ forgotten £15m star after frustrating two seasons at St James' Park

Matt Targett could leave Newcastle this summer, according to reports.Matt Targett could leave Newcastle this summer, according to reports.
Matt Targett could leave Newcastle this summer, according to reports. | Getty Images
Newcastle United are looking to free up space within their squad to facilitate some key changes this summer

Newcastle United have reportedly placed injury-hit defender Matt Targett on the transfer list this summer, according to reports from The Athletic.

The outlet claims that the Magpies are hoping to trim down certain areas of their squad to facilitate further business in the transfer window, and Targett has reportedly been deemed surplus to requirements by manager Eddie Howe.

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The former Aston Villa left back arrived at St James’ Park on a six-month loan deal in January 2022, and was a key member of the team which rose from 20th in the table to 11th in a highly productive second half of the season.

Targett played every minute of every game during the last 16 games of the season and was a constant threat going forward and formed an excellent partnership with Allan Saint-Maximin and Ryan Fraser in the wide areas. This form quickly earned him a permanent £15m move to St James’ Park in the summer of 2022.

"Matt had a fantastic impact after joining on loan in January and made a big contribution to some excellent team performances. He is a great lad and a top professional who undoubtedly makes us stronger, so I'm delighted he sees his future here." Howe said at the time.

However, shortly after Targett’s switch on the opening day of the season he sustained a costly hamstring injury which kept him out for three matches. Dan Burn assumed the role of left back, with Sven Botman slotting into the centre back position and Targett struggled to regain his place in the team. A devastating heel injury in December 2022 kept him out for a further 12 matches, meaning the majority of Targett’s 17 league appearances that season were only cameos from the subs bench.

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As Targett battled to regain fitness for the 2022/23 campaign, the Magpies added further competition in his position in the form of Lewis Hall and Tino Livramento. Targett was handed his first start of the season and only his third start of the campaign against Manchester United in the Carabao Cup but was subbed off with another hamstring injury after just five minutes. He returned to the subs bench four months later against Chelsea, but suffered an achilles tendon injury in training which has subsequently kept him out since March.

As it stands, the future of Targett remains uncertain but it’s hard to see him making his way back into the setup due to Burn, Livramento and Hall all being options. Furthermore, the potential arrival of Lloyd Kelly, who is also able to play left back, could push Targett even further down the pecking order.

Targett’s contract at St James’ Park runs until 2026 and it is suspected that the North East Club will look to recoup some of the £15m they invested in him. 

Former club Southampton, where Targett started his career, are thought to be one of the club’s interested in the 28-year-old. The move for the boyhood Saints fan would make sense and it could potentially see him resume his partnership with winger Ryan Fraser, with the pair both linking up well towards the latter end of the 2021/22 season.

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