Newcastle United defender Matt Targett wouldn’t have expected his game time to be so limited, journalist Dean Jones has told GIVEMESPORT.
The 27-year-old signed on a permanent deal at the beginning of the season, but he’s struggled to find a regular starting spot at the club.
Newcastle United news – Matt Targett
Targett, who signed for a fee of £15m, according to Sky Sports, has only started four Premier League games this campaign, as per FBref.
Former Brighton & Hove Albion defender Dan Burn has been utilised in a left-back role predominantly under Eddie Howe, starting 28 games.
The permanent switch to St James’ Park may not have gone how Targett would have expected and the lack of starts could be a concern for the former Aston Villa left-back.
Burn has only played 77 times as a left-back in his career, compared to 316 appearances as a centre-back, according to Transfermarkt, so it could be fairly disheartening for Targett knowing he’s behind a player who is unnatural in this position.
A report from Football Insider has claimed that Newcastle are interested in signing Arsenal left-back Kieran Tierney, which could force Targett even further down the pecking order.
What has Jones said about Targett?
Jones has suggested that Targett now has a decision to make regarding whether he fits into this Newcastle project.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, he said: “I think there’s probably a decision there for Targett to make and to understand how he fits into the forward project. It’s probably not what he was expecting, to be on the bench as much as he is now.
“I still think Howe likes him. I’m just not sure that Targett is of the level that Newcastle are now pushing towards, which is Champions League football, ultimately, even Europa League football.”
How has Targett performed in a Newcastle shirt?
Last season, Targett featured more than he has done this campaign. The former Southampton defender started 16 Premier League games, according to FBref, providing no goals or assists.
However, Targett did average 2.56 tackles per 90 minutes, with Burn significantly lower with 1.0.
Again, last term, Targett averaged a Sofascore rating of 6.96 in the Premier League, the fourth highest in the Newcastle squad.
His lack of game time may be slightly unfair this season, but it’s difficult when Newcastle are performing so well defensively, conceding less goals than any other Premier League side.