Reports: Townsend favours Toon Army stay

The 24-year-old signed for Newcastle United in January 2016 where he has become an instant fans favourite. However, Townsend reportedly has a £13million relegation release clause that Crystal Palace are looking activate.

Reports: Townsend favours Toon Army stay
Townsend hit good form under Benitez (Chroniclelive.co.uk)

Andros Townsend has reportedly told Newcastle United and Rafael Benitez that he is keen to stay at the club.

Media outlets in London have rumoured this week that Alan Pardew is keen to sign the ex Spurs winger. With Crystal Palace reportedly having the lack of funds for Townsend, Dwight Gayle may come into the deal if it can be struck after he has also been rumoured to have been offered to Newcastle United.

Townsend has failed to publicly commit to The Magpies after their relegation from the Premier League.

The 24-year-old was one of three players omitted from England’s Euro 2016 squad last week after he earned a recalled to the squad following an impressive run of form under Benitez.

Recent polls at Chroniclelive.co.uk revealed that Townsend was the man that the Geordie faithful wanted to see stay the most.

The Benitez affect

Townsend fell out of favour with Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham Hotspur resulting in the 24-year-old starting his 2015-2016 season in the Spurs U21’s side. Newcastle continued to see the potential in Townsend which was confirmed when they purchased him in a £12million deal.

Benitez joined with 10 games to go but couldn't keep Newcastle in the Premier League (theguardian.com)

Steve McClaren brought Townsend to Tyneside but could only manage to play three games under the ex England bosses tenure which included his first goal for Newcastle at Stamford Bridge. However, he missed the games against Stoke and McClaren’s final game at home to Bournemouth through injury.

Townsend returned to the squad in Benitez’s first game against Leicester, highlighting how keen Townsend was to play under Bentiez. Through Benitez’s 10 games, the winger hit a consistent run of form chipping in with three goals and two assists with his efforts being noticed by Newcastle fans, arguably making him a fans favourite already.

It can be said that is Townsend stays, one of the main reasons will be the impact of Benitez. At the end of the season when on international duty, Townsend told SkySports how “it would be massive for Newcastle to keep Rafa as manager, he’s one of the best managers in the world.”

He went onto say that if the Toon Army could “keep a manager of his calibre and keep doing the right things, we’ll build.” The Geordies will hope that the “we’ll build” means he certainly sees his future at St James’ Park.

Fans love

Newcastle fans have really taken to Townsend since he joined. It has always been publicised that The Geordies’ simply demand one thing and that is for a player to give his all. Townsend evidently done that, becoming a work engine on the left hand channel.

Townsend's free kick against Palace gave The Geordies hope of staying up (Photo: thedailystar.co.uk)
Townsend's free kick against Palace gave The Geordies hope of staying up (Photo: thedailystar.co.uk)

In the same interview that Townsend said he hoped that Benitez would stay, he expressed his love towards Newcastle fans saying he couldn’t “speak highly enough of Newcastle fans and Rafa Benitez.”

Townsend was struggling for confidence in Spurs’ U21 side after suffering a heart breaking end to his spell at White Hart Lane. However, St James’ Park gave him a platform to build again: “They (Newcastle fans and Benitez) helped me get my confidence from under the ground, where it was six months ago, to back up where I want it to be.”

The winger most memorable moments for England were his long range strikes against Montenegro on his debut and Italy in Turin, putting him in the favourable eye of England manager Roy Hodgson. Unfortunately, a dip in form in his club career saw Townsend drop out of the England set up.

Townsend said last month that he’s “back on top form” and he “feels good, fresh and sharp”