The surprising Newcastle United player who is among the best in the league to regain possession


Newcastle United full-back Jacob Murphy is among the Premier League’s best outside the so-called ‘big six’ for reclaiming possession.

Murphy averages 5.88 tackles and interceptions every 90 minutes, a number only surpassed by Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, who is considered one of the top ball winners in the division.

In the 780 minutes of football Murphy played, he made 37 tackles and 14 interceptions, both crucial to how Eddie Howe wants his team to play.

Both of those stats are lower than the majority of the players on the roster, but Murphy has played considerably fewer minutes of football than everyone else.

Murphy is just ahead of Yves Bissouma, Christian Norgaard, Mohammed Salisu and Cheikhou Kouyate, all known for their aggressive style of play off the ball.

The 26-year-old became an important player for the Magpies in 2021, establishing himself as a regular in the second half of last season to help stave off the relegation threat.

His versatility has proven to be a key asset at St. James’ Park, as he is now also adept at playing on the wing, as a full-back or even as a full-back in a four-man defense.

He might struggle to find playing time at the end of the January transfer window, with Kieran Trippier expected to join the club, which will become the club’s first choice.


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