A genuine free-kick taker capable of rattling the back of the net on a regular basis is a rare commodity in modern football, particularly at Newcastle United.
There aren’t many players in the Magpies squad that you’d be confident of beating the goalkeeper from over 18 yards but that could change next month as one transfer target potentially aims to evoke memories of Nobby Solano.
The Peruvian was a marvel at Newcastle United, becoming a set-piece specialist who’d always create chaos from dead-ball situations.
During his time in England, the midfielder had a conversion rate of 9%, scoring seven times from 78 free-kicks.
That record was the fifth-best in Premier League history as of 2015 as he left a wonderful legacy behind him when departing British shores.
Solano is arguably one of the most underrated to grace St James’ Park and indeed grounds around the country, but the Magpies could sign a like-minded player this winter.
Reports a few months back claimed that Newcastle were interested in prising James Ward-Prowse away from Southampton.
The Saints skipper was touted at a price of £50m back in the summer and like Solano, is rather remarkable when it comes to set-plays.
That’s quite the tally and one that Toon legend Alan Shearer once praised. He Tweeted back in February: “JWP ridiculous ability from set-pieces.”
With that in mind, it’s easy to start building a case for Newcastle to land the central midfielder in the winter market.
That said, it’s not just their quality from dead-ball scenarios that Solano and Ward-Prowse have in common.
Coincidentally, they are also capable of featuring in similar positions on the pitch. The Saints star has played in the middle of the park, as well as on the wings and even at right-back.
As for the Peruvian, he starred on the wing but also played in central midfield and at full-back on the odd occasion.
Blessed with versatility, impeccable leadership and professionalism, while being able to strike a free-kick like no other in the Premier League, signing Ward-Prowse would be a particularly good idea from the Newcastle hierarchy next month.