Alf Taylor must be delirious at this point – his move to leak the news of their ‘rejection’ of the contract offered to Taylor by Newcastle has predictably sparked a storm in the media, with a host of clubs linked with Newcastle United for the young defender’s services.
As I’ve said earlier, this contract business is purely pressure tactics on the part of Alf Taylor to get Newcastle to pay Steve more than what they’re currently playing N’Zogbia and Milner, both of whom have signed new contracts. Maybe I’m just a football hack and don’t understand the difference between 30k / week and 50k / week but considering that the kid is 21, has no chance of starting for England unless a massive injury crisis happens and is playing for a club outside the Champions League, he’s surely not going to be offered 50 or 60k by Newcastle?
Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool have been linked to Steve Taylor. Chelsea already have brought in Alex and Ben Haim, and those two play behind Carvalho and Terry. Chelsea also aren’t going to sell someone, so unless Chelsea have a massive injury crisis Taylor will be 5th choice, so no go there.
Tottenham have a good core of defenders in King, Dawson and Kaboul, it’s just a matter of getting them fit and playing at the same time. Taylor wouldn’t be first choice at Tottenham (King is ahead of him, so that leaves him to fight for a place with Dawson and Kaboul) and I doubt that Tottenham would pay him 60k / week if he’s not a starting regular (all the other defenders are also young, so it’s not as if he’s a long-term replacement for Tottenham).
If you strike Tottenham and Chelsea off, Liverpool are left and they do have an ageing defender in Sami Hyypia to replace. Taylor would give Liverpool the luxury to easily rest Carragher from non-essential games as well. However, Liverpool are not the sort of team to sanction a high wages package for a 21-year old, especially a player who still has a long way to go before reaching his potential. And Liverpool have Agger who will undoubtedly start ahead of Taylor, which means Stevie will need to accept being on the bench a lot.
In terms of what’s good for ST’s career, he needs to stay at Newcastle and build his international career from there – not only is he accepted as a future leader but his passion for the club shines through and gives his game an extra edge. He would flourish at Newcastle and only stumble at Tottenham or Liverpool (although he could potentially do great at both clubs).
Stay at Newcastle Stevie, and accept what Big Sam is offering – it’s easier to negotiate a pay-raise when other clubs are willing to pay 15m. Right now, no one will pay more than 10m for Taylor considering that he has is still a diamond in the rough and not the polished variety.