Dennis Praet is a target for Rafa Benitez according to reports on Friday morning.

The 23 year old is an attacking midfielder and moved from Anderlecht to Sampdoria in summer 2016 and made a fairly successful transition.

Sampdoria finished 11th last season in Serie A and Dennis Praet featured in 32 of their 39 league matches, 19 in the starting eleven and another 13 from the bench.

However, Il Secolo XIX are reporting in Italy that Newcastle have registered their interest and see the Belgian international (one full cap and a regular for Under 21s) as a player who can add something to their squad.

Praet cost the Italian club £7m last season and whilst they are looking to raise cash for their own signings, it is unclear whether they are happy to let the former Anderlecht midfielder move on.

A former teammate of Chancel Mbemba and Aleksandar Mitrovic at Anderlecht, Dennis Praet scored 18 league goals in his final three seasons in Belgium, though managed only one last season when stepping up into Serie A.

A player who can use both feet and play across the midfield, could he be seen as a viable Rafa Benitez target?

Back in 2016 former Anderlecht manager Johan Boskamp warned a then 21 year old Dennis Praet against a move to Newcastle.

Johan Boskamp speaking to Het Belang Van Limburg (February 2016):

“After the criticism of President Vanden Stock, Dennis Praet replied with his feet.

“It is important for Dennis Praet to now find the right club to join.

“If he chooses the Premier League then he must sign for a team with footballing abilities, NOT for teams like Sunderland or Newcastle because they are going under (struggling and potentially relegated).”

A compilation of his goals and skills below, from his time at Anderlecht.

  • Paul Patterson

    Get him snapped up.

  • Andy Mac

    Praet when we should have been looking at Tielemans ? FFS this is life at NUFC nowadays shopping in bargain bucket land !

    Fk Fatman this club deserves more than a self serving, one eyed, tight fisted megalomaniac.

    • Wor Lass

      Andy, this is the reality we have to live with if we`re going to follow the Toon. The money ISN`T there for Rafa so this is the sort of player we`re going to be linked with. We have to either give up completely or back Rafa and the lads (as I know you do). I`ve given up going to games (made easier now by the fact that I`ve moved abroad) but I`ll never give up supporting the boys on the pitch (unless we had 11 Moussas!) – no matter how much or little they cost.

  • TheFatController

    One day Ashley will sell, better we are in PL when he does. Backing players might make the difference between 17th and 18th this season.

    Consequently, back all players as they are giving it their all.

    If we had a £40m player like Ozil disappearing at Stoke (see Saturday’s game) then yes, lay into the players, but this revelling in calling out Merino, Joselu, manquillo etc is unfair – they need backing as they aren’t letting us down based on what we spent on them.

    Joselu stood up to be counted yesterday, wasn’t afraid to miss, chased down the keeper, won headers. Much more than Ozil gave Arsenal Saturday.

    If you have a reputation as fans that’ll back any team that gives 100%, pull up the owner not the £5m players getting stuck in and not hiding – what a baptism of fire for Merino yet he never hid once, he was brave throughout in terms of being available to make passes, take possession.

    Be angry, but be fair, blame Ashley not players getting stuck in as best they can – otherwise we should stop defending ourselves saying all we ask for is 100% commitment…