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Newcastle: Ivan Fresneda could be a Matt Targett clone

The January transfer window is now open for business and Newcastle United may look to utilise the market to bolster their squad heading into the second half of the campaign.

Eddie Howe and PIF are no strangers to doing work in the window midway through the season after they brought in Bruno Guimaraes, Chris Wood, Dan Burn, Matt Targett, and Kieran Trippier to the club in 2022.

Targett has only started four Premier League matches so far this season but enjoyed a fantastic 2021/22 campaign as he averaged a Sofascore rating of 6.96 across 33 starts for Aston Villa and the Magpies combined.

Howe could now find a clone of the £100k-per-week Englishman, but on the other side of the pitch, by securing a deal to sign Real Valladolid right-back Ivan Fresneda.

The Spaniard, who Ashworth is reportedly considering a bid for, is a talented young defender who could be an excellent signing for the Toon Army this month.

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Journalist Dean Jones has recently revealed that the Magpies have submitted a proposal to the youngster and could tempt the teenager into making the switch to England.

He told GIVEMESPORT: “It’s a possibility. He’s had a lot of interest from all over Europe and Newcastle have made a good case from what I understand.

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“Obviously, they do offer good prospects at the moment. They’re in a very healthy league position, and I think a lot of players would be very intrigued by the project that’s already underway under Eddie Howe.”

FBref lists Targett as the most similar player to Fresneda based on their statistics in Europe’s top five leagues over the last 365 days, with both players ranking in the 82nd percentile or higher for tackles and interceptions per 90 minutes amongst their positional peers respectively.

They also both rank in the 75th percentile or higher for clearances per 90 and these statistics indicate that they are both terrific defenders who can contribute a lot to the team out of possession by winning the ball back for their side.

The Spanish gem, who has a €30m (£26m) release clause in his contract, has averaged a Sofascore rating of 7.04 across seven appearances in La Liga this season, which would place him seventh in the current Newcastle team.

At the age of 18, Fresneda is a player with potential, who talent scout Jacek Kulig dubbed “talented“, but the dynamo’s form in Spain this term indicates that he could also have an impact in the short term as he is producing a high volume of defensive contributions.