The Toffees yesterday completed the signing of 28-year-old Theo Walcott in a £20m deal from Arsenal, reigniting the rivalry between the two former England wide-men. Walcott with 47 caps, is ahead in that reckoning although Fabio Capello famously chose 30-year-old Lennon for the dismal 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.
With the 2018 finals around the corner, both will want regular first-team football as they look to force their way into Gareth Southgate’s thinking.
With Yannick Bolasie, 28, back in the starting line-up following a year out with a cruciate ligament injury, competition for places is keen at Goodison Park. The suggestion is that Lennon will be the loser and Newcastle are looking to strengthen their attacking options.
With the takeover at St James Park seemingly falling through, Rafa Benitez is left with little time to make permanent deals if his Magpies squad is dragged into the relegation battle.
Current Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has yet to be persuaded that investing further funds for transfers is in his best interests, despite the club’s value diminishing if they are relegated.
Benitez, having hauled the Magpies out of the Championship at the first time of asking, is increasingly frustrated by the off-the-field dealings which are impacting on his ability to keep the club in the top flight.