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Newcastle hijack Everton’s Leander Dendoncker swoop

An update has emerged regarding Newcastle United‘s interest in Leander Dendoncker in the summer transfer window…

What’s the talk?

According to Football Insider, the Magpies have hijacked Everton‘s attempts to sign the Belgium international from Wolves.

The report claims that the Toffees have had an offer of £8.5m turned down for the 27-year-old and are now preparing a second swoop.

It is stated that the Toon are in the market to add a holding midfielder to their squad and they have identified Dendoncker as a target.

Isaac Hayden upgrade

Newcastle let their only natural enforcer in the middle of the park leave earlier this summer as Isaac Hayden was sent on loan to Norwich.

The 27-year-old missed the second-half of last season due to injury after struggling to find form in the first few months of the campaign. He averaged a SofaScore rating of 6.60 and completed 79% of his passes across 14 appearances (including 12 starts) in the Premier League, which ranked him 24th in the squad.

Hayden is a number six who is capable of winning the ball back and disrupting opposition attacks with his strength and his reading of the game, making three tackles and interceptions per match last term.

However, the quality of his performances week in, week out were not good enough, and the Magpies can now land an upgrade on him by signing Dendoncker from Wolves.

The £90k-per-week machine has had a strong start to the current campaign as he has averaged a SofaScore rating of 7.00 across four appearances, making 3.3 tackles and interceptions per match and completing 87% of his passes.

This comes after he averaged ratings of 6.77 and 6.84 in the last two seasons for Wolves respectively – significantly higher than Hayden’s score in 2021/22.

Dendoncker has also caught the eye at international level for Belgium. In the UEFA Nations League earlier this summer, he averaged a sublime rating of 7.37 in three outings as he made 2.6 tackles and interceptions per game and completed 94% of his passes.

Journalist Joe Edwards dubbed him a “selfless” player, which suggests that the midfielder is capable of doing the dirty work to allow Newcastle’s attacking players such as Bruno Guimaraes, Allan Saint-Maximin and Alexander Isak to do their damage in the final third.

The midfield monster has shown that he can break up play whilst also being reliable in possession, and this could make him an ideal fit for a holding role in Eddie Howe’s midfield three. He can sit at the base and allow Joelinton and Guimaraes to push on and press high, as they would know that they have an enforcer providing them with the protection to do so.

Hayden’s unreliable passing and poor quality of performances meant that he was unable to fulfill this role effectively, and the statistics suggest that Dendoncker would come in as an upgrade on the Englishman in that position.

Article title: Newcastle hijack Everton’s Leander Dendoncker swoop

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