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Opinion

Newcastle United signings that could fill three problem positions after takeover

5 months ago
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Finally, it seems as if there is a light at the end of the tunnel, Mike Ashley may at last be on his way out of our beloved football club, and Newcastle United signings in the pipeline to take NUFC forward.

Who though should these players be?

I have compiled a shortlist of players suitable for Newcastle United in certain positions that will need strengthening.

Position: Right-Back

With Javier Manquillo’s contract due to expire come June and Valentino Lazaro likely to return to Inter Milan once his loan expires, the Magpies will be looking for a right-back with a well-rounded set of attributes, given the scarcity of Emil Krafth’s appearances, and DeAndre Yedlin’s proven lack of defensive capabilities.

My choice for this role is Aston Villa’s Frederic Guilbert.

The Frenchman is currently averaging 2 interceptions, 3.1 tackles and 2.5 clearances per 90, some stats which rank him among Europe’s elite right-backs in terms of defensive ability. As well as this, Guilbert achieves around 0.5 key passes per 90, which although this figure seems fairly low, Guilbert would not be a primary creator in the team, with players like Fabian Schar, Jonjo Shelvey and Allan Saint-Maximin providing key opportunities for Newcastle United.

Given Aston Villa’s inevitable relegation from the Premier League this season, Guilbert would be available for less than £10 million, making that less than a tenth of NUFC’s reported potential transfer budget of around £150 million.

Position: Left-Back

Whilst Jetro Willems has been excellent for Newcastle United this season, his return from injury is reported to be due in late 2020 at the earliest quite possibly not until early 2021.

So following a lacklustre loan spell from Danny Rose this season and reports that he may make a move to French giants Paris Saint-Germain, the Magpies will be short of a left-back, with the only options left being Paul Dummett and Matt Ritchie (who is not naturally suited to the role, despite both having lengthy spells playing there).

My option for the left-side; AFC Bournemouth’s Diego Rico. The Spaniard has provided some pretty excellent statistics both offensively and defensively this season, following his arrival from La Liga last summer.

Rico averages 1.9 tackles and 3.1 interceptions per game. However, it is worth mentioning that these defensive figures are high, most likely due to Bournemouth being one of the worse clubs in the league, meaning that their defence sees the ball more than Liverpool’s, for example.

His offensive numbers are equally as brilliant, as Rico averages 1.1 key passes and 1.4 crosses per 90, proving that Rico could have a huge influence in our attack.

As well as Rico. FSV Mainz 05 defender Aaron Martin provides a very similar influence for the Bundesliga side. In the event of an early return from injury for Jetro Willems, he would also be a good signing for Newcastle – any of these options would be available for less than £15 million.

Position: Striker

Brazilian striker Joelinton has failed to satisfy his critics whilst leading the line for Newcastle.

However, I do still believe in Joelinton’s ability, but he is playing outside of his preferred role, and either needs to be played in a partnership, with a quicker, sharpshooting forward, or on the wing, possibly as part of a trio in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin supporting the main striker / goalscorer.

For me, FC Metz striker Habib Diallo would make an excellent acquisition for Newcastle United in the coming seasons.

The Senegalese striker has helped FC Metz to likely survival in Ligue 1 this season, with FC Metz sitting in 15th, seven points clear of the relegation zone. Diallo has provided 12 of FC Metz’s 27 goals this season, despite an xG of 10, with Diallo’s strong physical presence and speed proving a difficult match-up for Ligue 1 defenders.

Diallo has taken 70 shots this season, of which 34 on target, so can clearly finish chances created for him. In the event that Diallo was to join the Magpies, he would cost upwards of £30million, so could be considered as more of a potential risk. However, with the progressive passing and dribbling on display from Miguel Almiron, Allan Saint-Maximin and Jonjo Shelvey, if Joelinton was to be shifted onto the wing and Diallo was to play up front for the Toon, Newcastle United’s attack would seem far more structured, and functional, and Newcastle United may actually start to threaten / score more, as we seek an eventual return to Europe.

(Written by Jack Robinson, aged 15)

You can follow the author on Twitter @jackrnufc

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