Newcastle United have been linked with a summer move for FC Metz midfielder Boubacar Traore.
According to a recent report from Football Insider, the Magpies are one of the clubs, alongside the likes of fellow Premier League sides Leicester City, Southampton and Nottingham Forest, interested in signing the midfielder.
The report also adds that the player would be available for a transfer fee of around £18m.
The previous campaign was Traore’s breakout season in France as he ended up playing in 27 Ligue 1 games and started 17 of them.
Given how young he is, it shows just how highly rated he is at Metz and why this group of Premier League clubs have their eyes on him.
With that in mind, Traore could provide Eddie Howe with an upgrade on one of his current midfield options; Jonjo Shelvey.
Looking at the two midfielder’s previous domestic seasons, from a defensive point of view, the Mali international showed how much of a useful figure he could be for the Toon, more so than Shelvey.
Specifically, despite playing over 200 fewer minutes than the Englishman, Traore managed to win more tackles, carry out more successful pressures and rack up more blocks than the current Newcastle figure.
Additionally, he ended his Ligue 1 campaign with no errors that led to an opposition goal, whereas Shelvey made two.
The fact that the 30-year-old is set to see his contract at the Tyneside club expire next summer, adding Traore to the squad during this current window could not only give the team an upgrade on Shelvey, but also give them a solid long-term replacement for him should he leave next year.
As a result, Dan Ashworth should do everything he can to beat Newcastle’s top-flight competitors to the Metz midfielder’s signature this summer.