Newcastle United have entered the final week of the summer transfer window and time is running out for them to finish their business.
Dan Ashworth recently smashed the club’s transfer record to bring in Swedish striker Alexander Isak from Real Sociedad, making him the fourth arrival on Tyneside.
Nick Pope, Sven Botman, and Matt Targett have also joined the Magpies on permanent deals from Burnley, Lille, and Aston Villa respectively.
The ex-Brighton chief now has until Thursday to make any further additions to Eddie Howe’s squad and one area in which they may look to strengthen in is the middle of the park.
Newcastle must now push to sign the Denmark U21 international before the deadline passes as he could form an exciting pairing with Bruno Guimaraes in midfield.
First and foremost, would the 21-year-old suit the way Howe wants his team to play? It has been noted that being able to counter-press by reading the game is one of his skills and this suggests that he would fit in with the manager’s aggressive pressing system.
This shows that O’Riley is capable of pushing on from midfield to engage in a high press and this could help the Magpies to force mistakes in the opposition third.
He also has the quality to be a creator for his team. Former Hoops boss Paul Lambert previously heaped praise on the midfielder’s ability in possession, saying:
“The space he can generate for himself is really good, and he makes the game look easy by doing the simple things well. That’s not always an easy thing to say to footballers, to just keep it simple, they want to do the flashy side of the game. But he does the simple side of the game really well.”
In the Premiership this season, the ex-MK Dons machine has created three chances per game and assisted three across five appearances. This comes after he provided 2.2 key passes per outing in the Scottish top-flight last term and ended the campaign with four goals and three assists in 16 matches, whereas no Toon player managed more than 1.6 key passes per game in 2021/22.
The young talent has the potential to be a creative force in the Magpies midfield and Brazilian dynamo Bruno Guimaraes could benefit from that.
In the 2021/22 Premier League campaign, the Brazil international scored five goals in 11 starts and having a player alongside him who is capable of consistently creating opportunities could allow him to add to his Toon goal tally.
The ex-Lyon man has also shown that he can be a creator. In the last 365 days, Guimaraes ranks in the 96th percentile out of players in his position in Europe’s top five leagues for expected goals assisted at 0.19 per 90, which suggests that he is one of the best midfielders around when it comes to creating high-quality chances.
Now, imagine him and O’Riley playing alongside each other in the English top-flight and ripping teams open with their terrific ability on the ball.