Kelland Watts will be allowed to leave on loan


While one centre-back arrives at Newcastle United, another could leave in the form of Kelland Watts.

The Magpies have reached an agreement to sign Sven Botman from Lille. This has yet to be officially confirmed, with the club only announcing a deal in principle.

However, Botman will become a Magpie, and an announcement is expected today.

The 22-year-old is likely to start at St James’ Park, playing alongside Dan Burn or Fabian Schar. Newcastle then have Jamaal Lascelles in reserve, who will now be the club’s fourth centre-back.

A player to watch for all 32 World Cup teams

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Botman’s arrival will also push Watts further down the pecking order, and it should open the door for him to leave on loan.

Watts could leave on loan and return to Wigan

According to the Northern Echo, Newcastle will allow Watts to leave St James’ Park on loan this season.

The centre-back spent the previous campaign at Wigan where his side were promoted to the Championship.

And the Northern Echo add that the Latics are considering an offer to re-sign him ahead of their season in the Second Division.

Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

It would be a good move for Watts. He has spent the last two seasons in Ligue 1 and could benefit from moving up the league.

Watts has only featured once for the Newcastle first team, coming off the bench in a loss to Liverpool in July 2020. However, he has been in and around the senior team for a few years.

Lascelles hailed Watts in training two years ago

Rafa Benitez was the first manager to watch Watts. He included him on the bench in the last game of the 2018/19 season which was actually Benitez’s last game as manager.

Steve Bruce took over shortly after, and it was he who made his debut at centre-back.

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Watts trained with the first team in the summer of 2020 and received praise from Lascelles, who was impressed with the youngster’s speed.

“We raced 1,500 meters, five times, as fast as we could,” he told NUFC TV.

“To be fair to the young lad, Kell Watts, he just ran over everyone there and had the fastest time. My bet was on Miggy but Kell just blew everyone out of the water.

“He’s a great pro, he’s a great character and he understands his position. He understands that he has to reach a certain level.

Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Lascelles has praised Watts but he could struggle to qualify for the Premier League with Newcastle.

The club have invested heavily in defense since the takeover, and this will likely continue for years to come.

Watts will have to seriously impress this season on loan if he is ever to break into Eddie Howe’s squad.

His current deal expires in 2024, and it’s hard to see him remaining a Newcastle player beyond that.

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