In perhaps one of the least surprising pieces of transfer news this summer is that Matt Targett has moved on from Villa Park.
The full-back, who joined Villa from Southampton in 2019, found himself demoted after the club moved to secure the services of Lucas Digne in January 2022. Spotting that the writing was on the wall for his career at Villa Park, Targett opted to go out on loan, joining Newcastle before the winter transfer window closed.Embed from Getty Images
Targett was an ever present and ultimately made 16 appearances, as then threatened Newcastle steered away from safety, only missing the fixture against Villa (for obvious reasons). The former Saints academy graduate enjoyed a positive uptick in form on Tyneside after a torrid slide in fortunes in the first half of the 2021/22 campaign saw him slip out of Steven Gerrard’s plans.
Whilst many supporters will reflect upon Targett without any animosity, the brief moments of quality ultimately doesn’t manifest into the feeling that this move doesn’t suit all parties. Targett’s best phase at Villa came largely in fixtures that were played behind closed doors due to the Covid pandemic.
There were highs, including an important last gasp goal against Brighton, but ultimately a number of alarming defensive displays resulted in an all but inevitable demotion from the starting eleven. Further, from what we have seen of French international Digne to date, there is little question that the left-back position has been significantly upgraded.Embed from Getty Images
Whilst Targett had recently been heavily linked with a move to newly promoted Fulham, Newcastle activated their option to buy following the loan. There had been rumours that the 26 year old was keen on a move to the London club given the closer proximity to family connections on the south coast, but his future now lies with the ambitious, if controversial PIF owned club.
However, Newcastle have made their move and secured the left-back for a confirmed fee of £15m, with Targett signing on a four year deal. Not bad business at all for Villa, especially when factoring in the £3m loan fee already pocketed earlier this calendar year.