It looks unlikely that Jack Colback will ever pull on the black and white stripes of his boyhood club again. The out-of-favour midfielder was told he could leave Newcastle United this summer by manager Rafa Benitez but, after deciding to stay and fight for his place, has been rewarded with a place in the reserves.
Thus, The Chronicle reports that Newcastle will make another attempt to off-load the local lad in January as he is costing the club £40,000-a-week in wages – more than a number of first-team players.
“He knew from the beginning that we have four or five midfielders and I didn’t want to have six,” a clearly frustrated Benitez said of Colback.
But with the report adding that Leeds United had scouts in the crowd as Colback featured in the Newcastle’s reserves 4-1 win against Reading this week has given rise to speculation that the 28-year-old could be offered an escape route via a mid-season move to Elland Road.
But although Colback is an experienced player with 179 Premier League appearances under his belt and a call up for England in 2014, there is a nagging feeling that he is no better than the options already at Leeds’ disposal.
He certainly wouldn’t offer much that Ronaldo Vieira, Eunan O’Kane and Kalvin Phillips don’t already provide.
Colback eventually became a scapegoat among many Newcastle supporters for his tendency to slow down attacking moves and for an alleged lack of incision in possession – so he’s clearly not the dynamic, powerful or creative midfielder that would take Leeds’ game to the next level.
Colback even struggled in the Championship last season. But if they are to hand him a huge pay packet at Elland Road, they really need to sit down and think about what Colback could actually offer.