Newcastle United‘s plans for the summer transfer window are well underway as they are being linked with players right, left and centre as the 2021/22 campaign comes to a close.
One player for whom the club are reportedly eyeing up a swoop ahead of next season is Bayer Leverkusen’s Dutch left-back Mitchel Bakker.
According to SportBILD, via Sport Witness, the Magpies are in contact with the full-back’s representatives and PIF want to make a bid for him. The report claims that the defender is set to leave the Bundesliga club at the end of the season and that it was previously claimed that he was ‘likely’ to move to the Premier League.
This comes after the Toon failed to strike a deal for him in January. They attempted to sign him for €20m (£17m) in the winter, only for the move to fall through at the last minute.
Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe would surely love the Dutchman, as he would be a superb signing for the club. Bakker is a promising young talent with potential and experience at the top level, which makes him an exciting prospect for the Magpies.
Talent scout Jacek Kulig previously dubbed the defender ‘tenacious’ and ‘extremely dominant in the air’ in his online report on the defender. This suggests that the 21-year-old is a strong defender who will be able to hold his own in physical battles, which means that Howe would not have to worry about him being too soft for the Premier League and being a liability at the back.
His statistics for PSG in Ligue 1 last season illustrated this as he won 64% of his aerial battles. He was able to get the better of his opponent in the majority of his duels, which means that he would be an asset to Newcastle in both defending and attacking set-pieces.
Bundesliga commentator Dan O’Hagan offered his thoughts on the full-back during the January window. He told Newcastle World: “Bakker had been at Ajax for nine years, so he was well-schooled and was given a terrific foundation in the game.
“Bakker is a typical, modern full-back, but they haven’t really seen the best of him yet because of the injury he suffered earlier in the season. He’s back now and I think he would be an excellent acquisition for Newcastle.”
These comments from O’Hagan paint a great picture of Bakker and one that Howe will surely enjoy. The Leverkusen youngster is a forward-thinking and technically adept gem – as these quotes suggest – and this makes him an exciting prospective signing for Newcastle when you couple it with his defensive qualities.
At the age of 21, he also has the potential to improve further, and Howe can work with him to help the Dutchman hone his skills. Therefore, the ex-Bournemouth boss would surely love to have the left-back at Newcastle and will be hoping that PIF can get this over the line.