Allardyce to develop Taylor
By Amanda Cornforth. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce wants experienced defenders to come in and help nurture the talent of Steven Taylor.
The 21-year-old impressed last season at St James' Park and also featured for England in Wednesday evening's disappointing European Under 21 Championship semi-final defeat against Holland.
"I don't want to put too much pressure on Steven Taylor," Allardyce told the Daily Express.
"He has been labelled a hero or saviour by the fans because of his passion for Newcastle United and the commitment in his play.
"But he is still a raw defender with huge potential and great promise and, while he is not quite there yet, he is still a great asset to this club.
"I am looking to bring in central defenders with experience to play alongside him to help him improve - and knock one or two rough edges off.
"Taylor has great potential and, when people talk of him as a future England centre-half, I say, 'Perhaps, yes'."
Allardyce released defensive trio Titus Bramble, Craig Moore and Oguchi Onyewu within days of his arrival at the Magpies and bringing in a new defender is one of his main transfer priorities over the summer.
United missed out on Bolton's Tal Ben Haim but Allardyce has reportedly stepped-up his pursuit of Paris St Germain defender David Rozehnal.
Liverpool's Sami Hyypia is also believed to be in the frame while Allardyce is understood to have also taken a look at Marseille's Senegal international Habib Beye.