Newcastle Utd news – Taylor Liverpool link, Barton boost, Drogba praises Carroll

Drogba praises Carroll.

Just days after saying Magpies midfielder Cheick Tiote was destined for great things in the Premier League, Didier Drogba has expressed his admiration for striker Andy Carroll.

The Chelsea striker is currently captaining the Blues in the absence of John Terry and Frank Lampard, but has seen the club’s worst form since Roman Abramovich purchased the club in 2004. But the Ivory Coast captain told Sky Sports that he sees a little of Carroll in himself.

“I’ve been very impressed with him,” he said. “People say I’m good in the air but he’s not bad either!

“What he does, and what I like to do, is attack the ball. You have to do this to give it the direction you want, whether you are flicking it on to one of your team-mates or going for goal yourself.”

Taylor Liverpool link.

Newcastle defender Steven Taylor is a January target of Liverpool, according to The Chronicle.

The former England U-21 captain has recently returned from a long-term injury layoff but has impressed in his brief stint back in the first team. He has however refused to sign a new deal at St James’s Park, prompting reports that long-term admirers Liverpool will make a move in January.

Liverpool are reeling from the news that Jamie Carragher will be out for at least three months after dislocating his shoulder. Boss Roy Hodgson is expected to be handed a significant transfer budget by new owners New England Sports Ventures and a move for Taylor would not come as much of a surprise.

Barton boost.

Magpies midfielder Joey Barton will be back in the side for Sunday’s visit to West Bromwich Albion after completing his recent suspension.

Barton, 28, was banned for three games after punching Blackburn’s Morten Gamst Pedersen in the chest during a match last month. His return has been welcomed by boss Chris Hughton in an interview with The Shields Gazette.

“Since I started working with Joey two years ago, there have never been any doubts about the ability he has,” he said. “Unfortunately, that’s been interrupted by injuries, but when I first came he played in the second half of the 2007/08 season, and was magnificent.

“He wasn’t a problem, and we have seen more of that ability on show this season. It’s about consistency, and we hope to keep him in the team for as long as we can because he’s an important player for this club.”

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