An update has emerged on Newcastle United’s pursuit of 21-year-old powerhouse Mitchel Bakker…
According to the Daily Mail, the Magpies have opened talks with Bayer Leverkusen over a potential deal to sign the Dutchman this month.
The report claims that the Toon are discussing a move for the left-back, who joined the German club for £8.5m from PSG last summer.
Meanwhile, Spanish outlet Estadio Deportivo are reporting that the club are poised to make a huge €60m offer for Brazilian defender Diego Carlos. Fabrizio Romano has claimed that the two parties have already agreed terms over a five-year contract and this means that Bakker could be being eyed to come in after they have brought Carlos to St. James’ Park.
Bakker would have a “big influence” – as Gerardo Seoane claimed he had for Leverkusen – on Newcastle’s side as he could come in and solve a key issue for Eddie Howe.
The left-back position has been a problematic role for the Magpies all season, under both Steve Bruce and Howe, and the signing of Bakker could alleviate any concerns about it moving forward. He could come in and nail down a regular spot in the back four, allowing Matt Ritchie to move back to the bench.
Ritchie has started 14 Premier League at left-back this season and averaged a dismal WhoScored rating of 6.43 for the Magpies. This shows that he has consistently been letting down the team with his disappointing displays, which is why bringing the 21-year-old from the Bundesliga in could have a big influence on the side as he could replace the Scot.
Bakker, meanwhile, played 26 times for PSG in Ligue 1 last season and averaged a WhoScored rating of 6.83. He also won 57% of his duels and helped the side to seven clean sheets before moving on to Leverkusen, showing that he’d be a big upgrade.
Seoane also previously lauded the defender, saying: “You could see his power and determination. Mitchel still has to improve but that will come with experience. You can’t forget he’s still a young player and new to the league. It always takes a bit of time.”
This shows that he could arrive at left-back and be an improvement on Ritchie if he is able to translate his form from France and Germany over to England, which is why he could have a hefty influence on Howe’s team.
It is now down to Nick Hammond and PIF to get this deal across the line in the coming weeks alongside a move for Carlos.