Jacob Murphy has not had the easiest of times since joining Newcastle United two years ago and it seemed his career at St James’ Park had hit a new low when he left for West Brom on loan in the January transfer window.
The Baggies, trying to replace the departed Harvey Barnes, snapped up the 24-year-old on loan from the Magpies, with Murphy having struggled to make any sort of mark on Tyneside, featuring just nine times in the Premier League before his temporary exit.
With the same number of appearances for the Hawthorns outfit, the game time will have boosted his confidence, not to mention given manager Rafael Benitez an idea of whether the winger is good enough for Newcastle.
What next for Murphy?
It seems as though the forward has hit a crossroads in his career, but there could well be a future at Newcastle for him if his parent side’s manager is to be believed.
Speaking of the former Norwich star, Benitez told the Chronicle: “He needed to play, obviously young players need to play and get experience. And it was difficult for him here. Bringing in Miguel Almiron was even more difficult. We spoke about that.
“He is a nice lad and a good professional so hopefully he can do well and then we will consider his future.”
A versatile winger with the ability to play on both his natural right flank as well as the left, Murphy might well be feeling a little aggrieved he was the one shipped out on loan when he looks at who is still at Newcastle.
What can give Murphy hope?
Simply put, Newcastle teammate Kenedy has done nothing to suggest he will be at Newcastle past the end of the season – a dramatic fall from grace for a man who was likely the fans’ number one transfer target last summer – and Christian Atsu is hardly getting the Toon Army’s bums off seats.
If both of those are to leave this summer, it leaves Benitez with a distinct lack of options on the flanks and with a lack of funds to recruit too many more, Murphy must be given a second chance after his loan spell.
Yes, he has not torn it up at the Hawthorns but he has shown glimpses of why Newcastle splashed out for his signing – and he could hardly do any worse than those on the fringes of the Magpies’ team right now.