Rafael Benitez should not curse Newcastle United's failure to land Southampton's Matt Targett

Rafael Benitez, Manager of Newcastle United looks on prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and West Ham United at St. James Park on August 26, 2017 in Newcastle upon...

Southampton left-back Matt Targett would have given Newcastle United more cover but would not have improved the starting XI.

Rafael Benitez, Manager of Newcastle United looks on prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and West Ham United at St. James Park on August 26, 2017 in Newcastle upon...

Rafael Benitez’s frustrations surrounding Newcastle United’s failure to make the most of the transfer market were not helped when a loan move for Southampton left-back Matt Targett was called off just hours before the August deadline, as reported by Sky Sports.

As such, the Magpies are without a recognised left-back for the time being with Paul Dummett suffering from a hamstring injury while Achraf Lazaar and Massadio Haidara clearly have no place in Benitez’s plans.

The 21-year-old, who has been in Southampton’s academy since the age of eight, would at least have offered a little more balance on the flank with right-footed centre-backs Chancel Mbemba and Ciaran Clark forced to fill in in recent weeks.

Antonio Valencia of Manchester United closes down Matt Targett of Southampton during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Southampton at Old Trafford on August 19, 2016...

However, despite making his Premier League debut as far back as November 2014, Targett is yet to show that he can follow in the footsteps of fellow Saints graduates Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw, Callum Chambers and co and go on to star in England’s top flight.

Newcastle miss the Targett

Targett has made 25 top flight appearances for the South Coast side but has failed to nail down a regular role and, in truth, has not really provided England international Ryan Bertrand with a great degree of competition.

And the fact that Newcastle only made their move with hours remaining in the transfer window suggests that Targett only entered The Magpies’ sights when the last-day panic set in.

Joel Ward of Crystal Palace takes on Matt Targett of Southampton during the EFL Cup Third Round match between Southampton and Crystal Palace at St Mary's Stadium on September 21, 2016 in...

The England youth international would have offered cover at left-back but would not have improved Newcastle’s starting XI or made them any more likely to retain their place in the Premier League come the end of the season.

In fact, Targett, like former Stoke City flop Joselu, could have even been used to epitomise a lack of ambition at St James’ Park.

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