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Newcastle must seal move for Kouadio Kone

Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth appears to be scouring the market for potential new recruits ahead of the January transfer window, with midfield seemingly an area in which the Magpies would like to strengthen.

That’s according to the Daily Mail, with the report suggesting that Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Kouadio Kone is a potential target for the northeast side, albeit with the German outfit likely unwilling to part ways next month.

Even despite that potential obstacle, it could well prove an astute move if Ashworth and co are to make an approach for the 21-year-old in the New Year, with the Frenchman having showcased his quality in the Bundesliga in recent times.

The former Toulouse ace – who left his homeland back in the summer of 2021 – has been in particularly impressive form for his current side so far this term, showcasing his ball-winning talents after averaging 2.1 tackles per game in the league this season from his 14 appearances.

The promising youngster also notably ranks in the top 20% in Europe among those in his position in that metric, having proven himself a truly effective asset at breaking up play in the centre of the park.

That knack has earned the France U21 international notable praise from talent scout Jacek Kulig, with the youth expert describing him as “like having one extra man on the pitch”, such is the 6 foot 1 titan’s destructive brilliance.

It is not just defensively that the £6k-per-week maestro thrives, however, with Kone showing his brilliance in possession as he ranks in the top 1% for dribbles completed, offering a real dynamic presence with his ability to drive his side forward from deep.

Such traits have also earned further praise from the aforementioned Kulig, with the respected source having stated last year: “He’s such a warrior. Complete package for a high-quality box-to-box midfielder.”

A player for whom the “sky is the limit” – according to Kulig – Kone could well be a figure whom Newcastle boss Eddie Howe can work with and develop over the coming years, while also offering the undoubted quality to be able to make a difference in the short term.

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Any move would likely not come cheap for the St James’ Park outfit – with CIES Football Observatory valuing the player at 35m (£31m) – although it would seemingly prove worth it to be able to snap up a player who has a “lot of potential“, as per former Gladbach boss Adi Hutter.

Having been linked with a move for Kone over the summer, the Magpies could finally turn that interest into a concrete offer when the market re-opens next month.