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Newcastle eyeing swoop to sign Real Madrid’s Ferland Mendy

An update has emerged on Newcastle United and their pursuit of Ferland Mendy during the January transfer window…

What’s the talk?

According to French outlet Foot Mercato, the Magpies are eyeing up a swoop to sign the Real Madrid left-back to bolster Eddie Howe’s squad heading into the second half of the campaign.

Do Newcastle need another left-back?

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Yes

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Dan Ashworth is attempting to improve the team, in spite of the success on the pitch in recent months, and the report claims that the club have made a ‘very big offer’ to the player.

However, it is also stated that the Spanish giants are not keen on selling the defender this month and that Newcastle, along with fellow interested side Paris Saint-Germain, have a battle on their hands to complete a deal.

Upgrade at the back

Ashworth could land Howe an upgrade on current left-back Dan Burn by convincing Real to part ways with the France international within the next four weeks.

The ex-Brighton colossus, who is a centre-back by trade, has been the manager’s first choice in that position this season in the Premier League, starting 16 times, and enjoyed a solid campaign thus far, averaging a Sofascore rating of 6.81.

He has won 52% of his individual duels and made 2.2 tackles and interceptions per match, whilst making 0.3 key passes per game going forward.

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These statistics indicate that he has been a steady, albeit unimpressive, performer at left-back and does not offer a great deal at the top end of the pitch, which is to be expected given that his primary position is at the heart of the defence.

Ferland Mendy, meanwhile, has won 59% of his battles and made 2.2 defensive contributions along with providing 1.0 key passes per outing for Real in La Liga.

The €48m (£43m) full-back also averaged a Sofascore rating of 7.00 in the Spanish top-flight across 22 appearances last term – winning 59% of his duels and creating 0.9 chances per game in the process.

Mendy, whose strength was once hailed as “amazing” by ex-teammate Raphael Varane, ranks in the 99th and 88th percentile among his positional peers for pass completion and dribbles completed per 90 over the last 365 days in Europe’s top five leagues, whilst Burn is sitting in just the 24th and 13th percentiles respectively in those statistics.

This, coupled with their respective chance creation numbers, suggests that the Real Madrid man would be a big upgrade on the current Newcastle gem in terms of what he offers going forward, whilst his stats in La Liga indicate that he is also more efficient defensively.