Stats: How Jack Colback has become key cog in the Newcastle machine

Newcastle United have spent plenty of money down the years, but a man who cost them nothing - Jack Colback - has emerged as a key figure.

There has always been value in the free agent market, with plenty of talent dropping into that particular pool at the end of each passing season.

Jack Colback was among those to sever ties with a former employer in the summer of 2014, with the midfielder taking the decision to run down his contract at Sunderland.

As a Newcastle native, and despite his strong ties to their arch-rivals from Wearside, the 25-year-old jumped at the chance to move to St James’ Park when the opportunity presented itself.

Sunderland were less than amused having helped to make Colback the player he is today and found themselves missing out on a compensation fee as an academy graduate had passed the cut-off age of 24.

They will be smarting even more after seeing the hard-working midfielder become a key figure for the Magpies.

He may be surrounded by players that demanded sizeable transfer fees, but he is proving that you do not have to spend big in order to find top Premier League talent.

  Total TackleWon TackleDuel WonAerial WonBall RecoveryAppearancesMins Played
Jack Colback 52 38 108 12 110 22 1,959
Cheick Tioté 34 24 77 25 97 11 898
Vurnon Anita 16 13 31 4 41 10 631

The Opta statistics above help to highlight how valuable Colback has become to the Newcastle cause.

Operating in a containing midfield role, he helps to provide much-needed protection for the back four while allowing those in front of him to express themselves.

He has never been scared to put his boot in when the studs are flying, and has been showcasing that talent again for the Magpies.

The former England U20 international has sat out just one Premier League game this season, through suspension, and looks set to remain a key figure under John Carver as he endeavours to pick up the baton put down by Alan Pardew – the man that helped to lure Colback back to his roots on Tyneside.

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