What’s the latest on Zemura to Newcastle?
According to 90min, the Tynesiders are among a number of Premier League clubs who are said to be ‘admirers’ of the 23-year-old, with the Zimbabwe international facing an uncertain future with his current side with just a matter of months remaining on his existing deal.
As per the report, the 5 foot 8 gem was recently dropped by manager Gary O’Neil due to his ongoing contract dispute, with that situation having seemingly alerted clubs across the division to his potential availability.
The St James’ Park hierarchy – including sporting director Dan Ashworth – may have a battle on their hands if they are to make a concrete approach any time soon, however, with West Ham United said to be currently leading the race for the player’s signature.
Would Zemura be a good signing for Newcastle?
There will likely be a sense of Deja vu among Newcastle supporters regarding this potential interest in Zemura, with the northeast side having previously snapped up Ryan Fraser from Bournemouth on a free transfer back in the summer of 2020.
Much like Zemura, the Scotland international had endured a turbulent and somewhat toxic end to his time on the south coast having decided against signing a brief, short-term extension on his deal in order to continue playing in that Covid-impacted 2019/20 campaign, with Howe – who was in charge at the time – taking the decision not to call upon the diminutive speedster for the remainder of that season.
That “disgraceful” exit – as per Dorset Live’s Daniel Davis – undoubtedly left a bad taste in the mouth among those of a Cherries persuasion, with Fraser having since been dealt a dose of Karma after struggling to make his mark at St James’ Park, scoring just three goals and providing only six assists in 59 games in all competitions.
Those woes have been compounded by the fact that the 29-year-old has now been banished from the first-team squad by Howe, with it looking as if a summer exit is now an inevitability – bringing to an end a rather failed deal for all concerned.
With Newcastle still paying the price for that signing, there may be concern among Ashworth and co in enduring a repeat scenario by snapping up another contract rebel in the form of Zemura, particularly with the London-born ace rather inexperienced at the top level.
The one-time Charlton Athletic academy graduate has made 19 top-flight appearances so far this season and has averaged 2.1 tackles per game in that time, albeit while contributing just a solitary assist and recording an average match rating of only 6.57, as per Sofascore – the 18th worst rating among his teammates.
The promising talent did enjoy a positive campaign in the Championship last term – with former boss Scott Parker stating that he has a “lovely forward drive about him” – after scoring three goals and providing one assist, although has since racked up just a solitary goal involvement this time around.
Considering that the highly-coveted asset has hardly pulled up any trees this season – and bearing in mind the comparison to the Fraser deal – Newcastle may well be wise to refrain from pursuing a summer swoop.