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Newcastle send scouts to watch Rangers defender Leon King

An update has emerged on Newcastle United and their interest in Leon King ahead of the January transfer window…

What’s the talk?

Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has claimed that the Magpies are scouting the Scotland youth international, alongside two other Premier League teams.

The defender is out of contract with Glasgow Rangers at the end of next season and Dan Ashworth is keeping tabs on his performances at Ibrox.

Romano Tweeted: “Many clubs are monitoring Rangers centre back Leon King (2004) who started against Liverpool at Anfield, last week — he’s out of contract in June 2024. Manchester United, Newcastle and Leeds have already sent their scouts to follow King.”

Imagine him & Sven Botman

Newcastle bolstered their options at centre-back in the summer transfer window by signing 22-year-old Sven Botman from French side Lille.

The young defender is in the early years of his career and has the potential to be a key player for the club for many seasons to come, whereas Dan Burn and Fabian Schar – who are both 30 – are at the other end of the spectrum.

Botman has been signed for now and for the future and bringing in a player like King could seal Eddie Howe’s central defensive partnership in future years if all goes to plan.

The Dutch centre-back is already proving his worth in the Premier League since his move from Ligue 1. He has averaged a SofaScore rating of 7.03 across seven appearances and has won a whopping 74% of his individual duels, which shows that he is putting in consistently strong performances and dominating opposition attackers.

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King, on the other hand, is four years younger than the Newcastle man and it may take him time to develop into a player with the quality to start week-in-week-out in the English top flight.

However, the potential is there for him to reach that level as he has already played 17 matches for Rangers by the age of 18 and made three appearances in the group stages of the Champions League, whilst completing 94% of his attempted passes in the Premiership this season.

Formers Gers defender Alan Hutton previously described King as being “elegant” in possession and dubbed him a “Rolls-Royce“, which suggests that the ex-Premier League full-back has been impressed by the youngster’s performances in a Light Blues jersey.

At the age of 18, he has plenty of time left ahead of him to develop and hone his skills and Howe could work with him on the training pitch to help him grow into being the dream partner for Botman at the back.

He would offer a right-footed balance to the left foot of the Dutchman in a central defensive pairing. His passing quality in the Scottish top-flight also suggests that he would suit a possession-based team, much like the ex-Lille machine – who has completed 89% of his passes in the Premier League.

Therefore, King and Botman could be a dream pairing for Newcastle in the future and Ashworth must now bring the Scottish gem to Newcastle in January to give Howe the chance to mould him into a first-team star for the Magpies in the years to come.