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Newcastle: Ashworth plotting move for Desire Doue

Newcastle United are reportedly eyeing another exciting young recruit, with sporting director Dan Ashworth seemingly plotting a move for Stade Rennais sensation, Desire Doue.

What’s the word?

According to French outlet Jeunes Footeux, the 17-year-old is one of the players who the Magpies are said to be ‘interested’ in at present, having already been looking to the future with the addition of Australian star, Garang Kuol, in recent months.

The report does suggest, however, that the young Frenchman could prove ‘difficult to dislodge’ from the Ligue 1 outfit, having only recently signed a new contract to extend his deal until the summer of 2025.

As such, the piece goes on to add that the teenager ‘will not be sold’ in the short or medium term, albeit with a move unable to be ruled out should an offer arrive that proves ‘difficult to refuse’.

Joelinton-esque

Despite having only made his professional debut for Rennes back in August, it would appear that Doue is already making waves at senior level, with the 5 foot 10 midfielder having scored three times in 16 games in all competitions so far this term.

The “exceptional” talent, as described by CBS journalist Jonathan Johnson, is clearly “one to watch” in the coming years – according to writer Zach Lowy – with the hope being that his development can continue at St James’ Park.

Although there may well be concerns over just how the prodigious gem will adapt to life in English football, those fears can be eased by the fact that the France U19 international share a number of stylistic and statistical similarities with Magpies star, Joelinton, according to FBref.

That likeness is illustrated by the fact that the pair both provide a real willingness to impact the play in the final third from their midfield berths, with the Brazilian gem ranking in the top 3% in Europe among those in his position for touches in the attacking penalty area, while Doue ranks in the top 4% in that same metric.

Equally, the latter man can also offer a real asset defensively as he ranks in the top 14% for tackles made, while Joelinton also ranks in the top 14% in that regard having been a typically relentless presence in Eddie Howe’s side of late.

One area in which Doue does potentially outshine the 26-year-old, however, is with regard to his dribbling prowess as he ranks in the top 1% for that metric, while the Newcastle maestro ranks in just the top 18% for dribbles completed – albeit with more minutes under his belt.

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Nevertheless, that clear comparison between the pair should indicate that the Angers-born starlet can be a success at the Premier League outfit, with Joelinton currently thriving under Howe having started 15 top-flight games this term.

To be able to find a relative carbon copy of the “special” ace, as described by pundit Jamie Carragher, in the form of Doue would surely prove a wise investment for both Ashworth and Newcastle.