This week, Jack Colback has become the first man to join Newcastle United from rivals Sunderland since Paul Bracewell in 1992. It has already sparked controversy with Sunderland stating the move left a ‘bitter taste’ in their mouth. The Killingworth born midfielder is a boyhood Newcastle fan and he has said that he was motivated by that to make the move to St James’ Park. It’s clear that is won’t be easy to win over the Newcastle fans for Colback, but he will give 100% for the side and as a local lad, he will know what is expected from him.
The central midfielder played an important role in Sunderland’s great escape, playing in 33 matches, and being a mainstay in the side. His pass completion of 86.53% shows that he is adept in possession, which is one of the key reasons Newcastle signed him to add a bit of depth to their midfield. Although he is predominantly used to retain the ball, he did get two assists and three goals last season, which highlights what he can do in the final third. Newcastle lacked goals towards the end of the season, so they will welcome another player who can score goals.
His final third pass completion rate of 84% shows that he remains impressive further up the pitch and he won’t be wasteful when he gets the ball at his feet. He won’t be coming in as the replacement for Yohan Cabaye, but he will provide real competition for Vurnon Anita, who had a pass completion rate of 81.39% and a final third pass completion rate of 69%. Both of these are inferior to Colback, yet Newcastle fans will not want Colback to replace their Dutch midfielder next season.
It will certainly be an interesting opening to the season with the Newcastle fans remembering Colback’s actions in the past few derby matches, in particular shushing the home fans at St James’ Park. As a box-to-box midfielder, the former Sunderland midfielder will bring something different to the squad as Alan Pardew has never had a player like Colback available to him since Danny Guthrie. He will also need to add a more creative midfielder to his squad to fill to Cabaye void, but the club still has a lot of time to sign players before the Premier League starts. Who do you think will finish higher? Newcastle or Sunderland? Find the latest football odds from BetBright!
Both Sunderland and Newcastle fans will be keen to see how the two derbies are next season and the Jack Colback transfer will add an extra edge to an already ferocious derby. He will likely get a toxic reaction at the Stadium of Light, which isn’t surprising given he has chosen to join their local rivals, but he should still be remembered as a good player from his days at the club. It’s far too early to say whether Colback has made the right decision, after he had several offers from Premier League clubs including a very lucrative contract from West Ham, but it’s admirable to see a player not motivated by money, but love for the game. Even Newcastle fans will admire his determination to join his local side.