Newcastle United were linked with a whopping 60 players during the summer transfer window, but only added five new faces before September’s deadline, and there is already mounting speculation on who the Magpies will add next to their thriving team in January.
The North East club became the richest in English football just over 12 months ago when their controversial takeover went through, and have since been strategising their rise back to the top of the Premier League table with manager Eddie Howe holding the reigns.
This season, the Magpies are exceeding expectations already as they are currently inside the top four, boasting the best defensive record in the entire league – conceding just 10 goals in total – and credit has to be given to the club’s thorough recruitment process that has built a team that can compete at the highest level.
So, where do Newcastle go next when it comes to using the winter transfer window to strengthen their already highly-impressive team?
One area that could use some development area is the wider positions of the forward line, with Allan Saint-Maximin’s constant injury issues plaguing the side’s ability to have their strongest attacking lineup available.
There is no doubt that Saint-Maximin has the quality to start at St James’ Park, however, the talented 25-year-old winger has had 12 separate instances of injury during his three-year tenure at the club, missing 41 matchdays whilst in recovery.
As a result, the signing of reported transfer target Moussa Diaby could be the perfect next move for Newcastle to ensure they can maintain their current impeccable form in the Premier League.
The £59m Bayer Leverkusen winger was heavily linked with a move to St James’ Park over the summer, but the Magpies were dealt a blow when Diaby confirmed he would continue to play in the Bundesliga. However, he is now back on the club’s radar after a fantastic start to the season.
Over 11 league appearances, Diaby – who was hailed “dangerous” by Nils Petersen – has scored two goals, registered three assists and created a whopping nine big chances, as well as making an average of 2.5 key passes, taking 1.7 shots and completing the majority of his dribble attempts (53%) per game.
Not only that, but the Frenchman currently ranks first for chance creation, ranks second for key passes and ranks 10th for crosses in the entire Bundesliga, which is incredibly impressive and something Howe will surely find it hard to ignore when he considers the transfer window ahead.
As such, Diaby could be the answer to Allan Saint-Maximin’s lack of availability in the forward line and would definitely be a great addition to boost goal contributions in the second half of the season.