Newcastle could sign a new Fabrizio Coloccini in Metz defender Boubakar Kouyate.
The Magpies boast one of the worst defensive records in the Premier League this season, with only Southampton, West Brom and Sheffield United having conceded more than their 54 goals.
It’s no surprise then that Steve Bruce’s side have been linked with a move for a new centre-back, and according to French publication L’Equipe, the Tyneside club are interested in making a move for Kouyate.
The report claims that they are set to face transfer competition from the likes of Southampton and Norwich, as well as a couple of Serie A clubs in AS Roma and Atalanta.
Ranked as the club’s fourth best defender in history by Newcastle Toons, the Argentine Coloccini was hailed as: “A centre-back who had an ability to influence both ends of the pitch, Coloccini was a vocal leader that could guide his team-mates in the right direction.
“One of his most impressive attributes was to make his partner in central defence a better player, as a long list of different individuals were alongside Coloccini during his time with Newcastle. With a knack for scoring goals in critical moments as well, the Córdoba native was at his best when the Magpies needed him the most.”
And in Kouyate, they could find someone remarkably similar.
The 6 foot 4 powerhouse really broke onto the scene at Ligue 2 side Troyes back in 2019, and his five goals saw him become the club’s top-scorer for the season and helped them finish in an impressive fourth – his displays even earned him a place in the Ligue 2 Team of the Year.
And when you look at his defensive numbers from this season, you can see why he has real shades of Coloccini to his game, and why he also appears to be a far better player than Jamaal Lascelles.
Kouyate is the undisputed leader of Metz’s back four, which his 2.4 tackles per match the highest of any centre-back at the club, while his 5.4 clearances is higher than any player in the league.
The Malian is a no-nonsense, aerial presence who leads the Metz back-line, and it’s incredibly telling that those defensive stats are all far better than what Lascelles has managed in the Premier League.
If Bruce is looking for someone to come in and marshal the Magpies’ defence, then he should look no further than Kouyate.