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Newcastle should regret not signing Christian Pulisic

Newcastle United were busy throughout the summer transfer window as Dan Ashworth attempted to improve Eddie Howe’s squad for the 2022/23 campaign.

The former Brighton chief was able to bring in Alexander Isak, Sven Botman, Matt Targett, and Nick Pope as he heavily invested in the backline and added to the manager’s options in the number nine position.

However, the club were unable to bring in a central midfielder or a wide player. The latter was particularly surprising as it was reported in July that signing an attacker in that area of the pitch was a priority, with Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby being a target at the time.

They failed to snap up a winger in the final days of the window and another player they were reportedly keen on was Chelsea attacker Christian Pulisic, who has only started one game in the Premier League this season.

Jacque Talbot recently quoted Fabrizio Romano as saying: “Newcastle were obsessed with Christian Pulisic. They wanted him, but they wanted him on loan and not on a permanent deal. And this is why Chelsea decided to say no.”

Ashworth had a mare with the £150k-per-week USA international, who Frank Khalid once dubbed a national “hero“, as he could have been an excellent signing for the club if they acquired him permanently.

Over the last 365 days, Pulisic ranks in the 83rd percentile among players in his position in Europe’s top five leagues and European competition for non-penalty goals per 90 at 0.36. Miguel Almiron, meanwhile, ranks in the 12th percentile with 0.10 and Ryan Fraser sits in the 17th with 0.11 per 90.

In 13 Premier League starts last season, the former Borussia Dortmund man scored six goals and provided two assists whilst playing out wide. He also plundered an impressive nine goals and four assists in 19 starts in his debut campaign in the English top-flight back in 2019/20.

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Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson celebrates with Joelinton

How many 2021/22 Premier League goals did Newcastle score?

Almiron and Fraser, meanwhile, produced three goals and three assists in 37 starts combined for the Magpies in the 2021/22 campaign.

These statistics suggest that Pulisic would have been a huge upgrade on the pair and improved Howe’s options in that position, whilst also having more potential to grow and develop as he is four years younger than both of them.

The Chelsea man would also suit Eddie Howe’s pressing style of play. Former Premier League goalkeeper Brad Friedel previously claimed that he would thrive at Liverpool playing that way because he is effective in counter-attacking situations with his pace in behind.

Therefore, Ashworth made a mistake by refusing to sign Pulisic on a permanent deal as his age, style of play, and statistics suggest that he would have been a superb addition to the squad and a much-needed upgrade on Fraser and Almiron out wide.