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Transfer Market

Should Newcastle United go all in on Moussa Diaby?

4 weeks ago

Should Newcastle United be doing absolutely everything they can to sign Moussa Diaby, a player they have been heavily linked with in recent days?

Strengthening the attacking options, creativity and goalscoring, is surely one of the biggest priorities this summer.

In full transparency, when I started to look at Moussa Diaby, I originally thought that he would be deployed on the right-hand side only.

However, Diaby can play on both sides of the pitch and has had a fantastic season for Leverkusen. Where he played 23 games on the right wing scoring 11 goals and contributing seven assists. Deployed on the left wing Diaby scored six and assisted seven in 14 games.

Newcastle United need to have players that are able to get into progressive positions in the final third to address a weakness, players who add true creativity and a scoring threat.

Of all players in Europe under the age of 23, only Real Madrid’s champions league winner Vinicius Junior has scored more goals than Moussa Diaby, the French international with 31 direct goal contributions (goals and assists) in 43 outings!

For context, Saint-Maximin had the most for Newcastle this season with 10.

Moussa Diaby would provide width, a goal scoring and creation threat and star power. Set to turn 23 in July, Diaby should be right at the top of Newcastle United’s priority list.

Watching Newcastle’s games this season, teams overload the right side of defence and will have two or three defenders in front of Saint-Maximin when he has the ball, making it difficult to get him one on one where he is at his most dangerous.

Having a threat on both sides will make it a lot more difficult for opposition teams, especially NUFC also have a Lodi or a similar player at left-back, with Trippier on the right. Moussa Diaby would provide a perfect outlet and additional threat in Howe’s favoured 4-3-3 formation.

The Good

Now even Stevie Wonder would be able to tell Ray Charles that Moussa Diaby is a significant upgrade over what Newcastle have deployed on the right wing currently. With Diaby offering Newcastle United a significant upgrade in terms of goals, assists and shot creating actions.

Diaby is brilliant in two extremely important areas that Newcastle come up short. He is rated one of the top players when it comes to through balls (a completed pass that goes behind a defender in open space) and crossing (2.82 per game).

Impressive stats as well for progressive passes received and completion rate on long passes, whilst only Watford’s Emmanuel Dennis scored higher with successful nutmegs in the major European leagues.

With top tier acceleration, he ticks a lot of boxes.

The Bad

Moussa Diaby is good in almost every area and exactly what we are looking for on the right side, indeed either side of the pitch. However, his short and medium passing completion rate is not great at 82% and 79% respectively. To put this in context, Ryan Fraser has been more accurate with his short passing this season.

At 0.16 tackles in the attacking third per game, don’t expect Diaby to fill in at left or right full back any time soon. With an advanced press extremely important in today’s game, I would like to see these metrics improved over time. By comparison Sadio Mane is 3 times more effective than Diaby in this statistic at 0.48 per game.


To be honest, it is hard to find anything particularly bad to say about Moussa Diaby, he is the definition of a skilful exciting prospect. Diaby is creative and can score goals.

If Newcastle United could sign him for no more than £50m he is definitely worth the money. With significant improvement likely to come as he progresses towards his prime.

For me, Moussa Diaby will adapt well to the premier league; he is built well for it and has adapted quickly to the Bundesliga after stepping up from Ligue 1.

I think he could have an impact as big as Bruno on our team and could / would be responsible for winning a lot of points on his own. He is everything and more that we are looking for, he could easily make even more of an impact than Luis Diaz has done at Liverpool.

If we have a chance to do so, Newcastle United MUST sign Moussa Diaby.

(Ilkka Howard (AKA NunewcastleFC) was born and bred in Sydney, Australia and got into supporting Newcastle United from afar in 1998 when watching them on TV highlights shows down under, he now has his very own NUFC blog which you can visit here)


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