The Athletic’s Craig Waugh has confirmed that the Mexican is a player on the Magpies’ radar, although the financials needed to make it happen could prevent them from being able to bring him in during this window.
Speaking on Pod on the Tyne, he said: “They’ve looked at a few different players. Edson Alvarez at Ajax they like, but I don’t think they’re going to be able to afford him permanently this window, so I don’t see that one necessarily happening.”
It has been reported that it will take a fee in the region of €50m (£42m) to tempt the Eredivisie giants into cashing in on him.
Whether it happens in the final two days of the window or in a future one, Alvarez could be a fantastic signing for the Magpies as he would be perfect for Eddie Howe.
The manager wants his team to aggressively press the opposition to force turnovers and counter-attacking opportunities. Winning the ball back high up the pitch has the potential to cause attacking overloads if they catch teams out with bodies up the pitch, which can open up space for the likes of Alexander Isak and Allan Saint-Maximin to do damage.
In order to pull off this tactic effectively, Newcastle need players in midfield and attack who are capable of consistently pressing in the final third.
Alvarez could, therefore, be perfect for Howe as the holding midfielder excels in his work off the ball. He was once described as a “monster” by journalist Felipe Cardenas and football talent scout Jacek Kulig dubbed him “tenacious” and “charismatic.”
Along with this, he ranks in the 81st percentile for pressing success rate at 33.3%. This shows that he not only presses high up the pitch and attempts plenty of tackles but he is also excellent in the execution of his actions, sitting well above the average for holding midfielders.
The Ajax man has also proven himself to be an ultra-reliable player in his possession. He ranks in the 98th percentile for pass completion at 92.3% and in the 99th percentile for long pass completion at 88.2%, which shows that he has the quality and range of passing to find teammates after pressing in the final third.
At the age of 24, he is also a player Howe could coach and improve over time, which is another reason why he would be a perfect signing for the Magpies if they can get a deal over the line.