Newcastle United have officially announced that Matt Target has joined the club from Aston Villa for a fee believed to be in the region of around £15m which includes a loan fee of £3m for last season.
Targett becomes Eddie Howe’s first singing of the summer transfer window following a hugely successful loan spell last term and has signed a four-year contract. Speaking to the club’s official website following the announcement, Targett says “I’m absolutely delighted to sign a four-year contract with this club. For me, it was an easy decision to make this loan permanent after the welcome I had from my fellow players, the staff, the owners and the supporters so I’m really happy to be here”.
Newcastle United Head Coach Eddie Howe had this to say, “Matt had a fantastic impact after joining on loan in January and made a big contribution to some excellent team performances. He is a great lad and top professional who undoubtedly makes us stronger, so I’m delighted he sees his future here”.
Born in Hampshire on the 18th of September 1995, Target joined the academy at Southampton when he was only eight years old. He appeared for the first time in the senior matchday squad for the first time in the Third Round of the League Cup in September 2013 against Bristol City. The Saints won the game 2-0 as Target was an unused substitute. He made his first team debut against Milwall in the Second Round of the League Cup in August 2014 in which he played the full match and helped record a 2-0 win. A month later Target made his first Premier League appearance as a second half substitute in a 2-1 win over Queens Park Rangers when he replaced Dusan Tadic. At the end of the 2014-15 season, he was named Southampton’s Young Player of The Season. Whilst he was at Southampton, he was part of the side that won the U-21 Premier League Cup in the 2014-15 season.
In January 2018, Target joined Fulham for the remainder of the season as the London club aimed for promotion to the Premier League. He made 18 appearances for the club as they won promotion when they beat Aston Villa 1-0 in the Championship Play Off Final.
Target would move to Aston Villa in July 2019 when he signed for an undisclosed fee. He made his debut for the club in August when they faced Crewe Alexandra in the EFL Cup Second Round but could only manage the first 42 minutes of the game before suffering a hamstring injury. Villa went on to win the game 6-1. Thankfully the injury wasn’t too serious as he made his return to the squad a month later in the 3rd Round EFL Cup victory over Brighton. Just three days later he made his first Premier League start against Burnley which finished 2-2. Villa went on to become runners up in the 2019-20 EFL Cup, At the end of the 2020-21 season he was named the Players Player of the Season.
Target has also represented both Scotland and England at Youth Level. He made two appearances for the Scotland U-19 side before making 5 appearances for both the England U-19 & U-20 side. He has yet to be capped by the Senior International side but has represented the U-21’s on 12 occasions and notably featured in the 2016 Toulon Tournament.
On the 31st of January 2022, Targett joined fellow Premier League side Newcastle United for the remainder of the season. The 26year old played every minute of the 16 games he was picked for and helped guide the club away from the relegation places before they finished the season in 11th place. Following Newcastle United’s last home game of the season in which they comfortably beat Arsenal 2-0, Targett said the following when asked about his future and wanting to join the club on a permanent deal, “I think everyone knows what I want, but it’s up-to the club. It’s a massive project, an exciting project and I’m sure everyone wants to be a part of it”.