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Transfer Market

Seko Fofana the realistic signing to further improve this Newcastle United midfield?

3 weeks ago
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Newcastle United have been increasingly linked with Seko Fofana.

The highly touted Fofana has a lot of reported suitors, with Marseille, Lyon, AC Milan, Leeds and Aston Villa all credited with an interest in the Ivory Coast international.

Newcastle United were actually first linked with the now 27 year old midfielder three years ago in June 2019, when Seko Fofana was still playing for Udinese in Serie A.

Now playing for Lens in Ligue 1 (since an £8m move in August 2020), Fofana has had a terrific 2021/22 season highlighted with 10 goals in 41 appearances (league and cup).

So should Newcastle United target Seko Fofana and at last sign him this summer?

Aged 27 and standing at six feet tall, Fofana had a terrific 21/22 campaign at Lens.

Standing out in the centre of the park, Seko Fofana was the second leading goal scorer for Lens, helping them to an impressive 7th in the French league. The stand out stat for the midfielder was the fact that with ten goals, it doubled his previous best in a season, which was five for Udinese back in 2016/17.

Newcastle United have turned what was the weakest part of the team at the beginning of the 2021/22 season, into arguably our biggest strength. The midfield area seeing Bruno Guimaraes, Joe Willock, Jonjo Shelvey and Joelinton have all flourished under Eddie Howe.

It is impossible not to single out big Joelinton. After all the flak he received in prior seasons as the number 9 under Steve Bruce, the NUFC player of the season has had a stellar campaign since Howe came in.

In what was a moment of genius, he was moved further down the pitch into a combative midfield role. Joelinton excelled in this position, catching the eye with every passing game. All the while, dealing with a groin issue for most of the season.

The addition of Bruno Guimaraes added flair, composure, grit, a magnificent passing range, determination and goals to our former sluggish midfield.

Joe Willock also improved under the new head coach and Jonjo Shelvey made a resurgence, given more space and time to operate as we brought in more quality into the team. Allowing Jonjo to demonstrate his quality, spraying passes around the field and finally having significant cover in Bruno and Joelinton for his lack of mobility in the centre of the park.

With that being said, Newcastle will look to improve the midfield further this transfer window. Not only to provide competition for positions. Newcastle need to add more dimensions, allowing variety and new styles of play to be adopted.

Seko Fofana offers an interesting and exciting potential prospect to the centre of the park, as we will say au revoir to Issac Hayden, Jeff Hendrick and Matt Longstaff (likely on loan).

Conclusion

At 27 years of age and reportedly available for somewhere between £18-30 million, Seko Fofana could add an upgrade in possession, passing and goal scoring.

However, he may not offer the steel / workrate required in midfield for an advanced press in the Premier League, which is a potential issue, considering the way we are likely to play next season.

(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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