Andros Townsend has completed his long-awaited move to Newcastle United, signing a long-term contract, subject to the completion of a medical.
The former Spurs winger left Tottenham’s Enfield training ground yesterday, tweeting a photograph suggesting his imminent departure, an emotional affair following his 16 years at the club he had represented from the age of eight years old. Following a bid made in the range of £10.5m earlier in the transfer window, which was rejected, it is clear Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy was holding out for the desired £12-14m price-tag he placed on the England international, who had been confined to the U21 set-up at Spurs for the final months of his tenure as a Tottenham player.
The England winger had expressed his discontent at his role in the youth team this season, after only registering 64 minutes of Premier League action in 2015/16, and with Newcastle desperate for an injection of talent, the deal looks to satisfy both parties with Townsend guaranteed regular game-time.
The move has been met with discontent by some fans, citing the £12m fee as far too high for a player who has failed to make an impression on the Spurs first team so far this year. Townsend featured in the U21 side’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool U21s on Monday night, then only yesterday the news broke that a bid had been accepted by the Spurs hierarchy.
It has been billed as a risky move by certain pundits, while others close to Tottenham regard it as a positive acquisition by Newcastle United, who see Townsend as a potential starter for the England side at the European Championships in the summer. The England winger has accumulated ten senior international caps and scored three goals for the national side, against Montenegro on his debut, San Marino in a European Qualifier and his latest coming in March 2015 against Italy in a friendly. Townsend hit out at former pro and pundit Paul Merson who claimed the player should be nowhere near the England squad, prior to his excellent finish against Italy. Townsend said: “Not bad for a player who should be ‘nowhere near the squad’ ay @PaulMerse?” .
Before his breakthrough into the Spurs first team, Townsend’s early career had been a frustrating one, threatening to take the same path as many other youngsters who had plied their trade at Premier League clubs as youths before dropping down the leagues. Loan spells at Yeovil Town, Leyton Orient, MK Dons, Ipswich Town, Watford, Millwall, Leeds United, Birmingham City and Queens’ Park Rangers between 2009-2013 led the now England winger to cut a frustrated figure. Townsend made his Tottenham debut in the 2012-13 season before breaking into the starting XI at the beginning of the 2013-14 campaign, but has found his opportunities limited under Mauricio Pochettino this year, with seven appearances and no goals in all competitions.
Newcastle United seem to have acquired a raw talent, but only time will tell if the England winger can replicate his form that earned him his first international call-up and the performances that earned him acclaim among pundits and fans alike in seasons gone by.
Main Photo: LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 09: Andros Townsend of England in action during the EURO 2016 Group E Qualifying match between England and San Marino at Wembley Stadium on October 9, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)