Arsenal's reported interest in Cheick Tiote may not be as bad news as originally feared for Newcastle United.
Tiote has been ruled out of Newcastle's last four matches and that has coincided with an up-turn in their form.
The midfield enforcer is generally considered one of the side's better performers, but their displays without him suggest that he may be somewhat of a hindrance
Newcastle have shown great discipline over their past few matches, conceding just once in the past four games and this is a weakness in Tiote's game.
He unquestionably brings a presence to Newcastle's midfield, but he has a tendency to drift from position in his desperation to break up attacks and a more structured approach has served the side well in his absence.
Tiote's passing, too, can sometimes be erratic and having midfielders who are happier to take fewer risks in possession is helping Alan Pardew's side.
Newcastle have a range of defensive midfielders in their squad and Mehdi Abeid and Vurnon Anita are both capable players.
Abeid and Anita have both played vital roles in the Magpies' recent victories and they have proven they are able enough to help this Newcastle side to victory.
The side, therefore, may be better off cashing in on Tiote and Arsenal's interest could do them a favour.
The Gunners are desperate for a defensive midfielder and if they do decide to pursue Tiote then Pardew's side will likely get a good price for him.
This money could then be invested into parts of the squad which look weaker, without his loss causing any damage to the standard of their starting line-up.