Newcastle United could sign a major upgrade in Miguel Almiron in former Chelsea starlet Gael Kakuta.
The 29-year-old is a familiar name in English football after his early high-profile move to Stamford Bridge in the late 2000s, with FIFA finding the Blues in contravention of their rules and banning them from signing any new players for a couple of years.
Now, Kakuta is plying his trade for Ligue 1 side Amiens, but has spent this season on loan at fellow French outfit Lens where he has played a starring role, scoring 11 times in the league alone.
And, according to Foot Mercato, Steve Bruce’s side have already contacted his representatives over a potential move in the summer, although it is suggested Kakuta himself is intent on finishing the season before making his decision.
Dubbed as being “phenomenal” by French football journalist Zach Lowy, Kakuta’s form at Lens this campaign even saw him named into L’Equipe’s team of the season for the first-half of the year back in January.
With 11 goals and five assists in 33 league games for Lens, the attacking midfielder appears to be among the best form of his career, and the Magpies could do with that kind of production from someone other than Callum Wilson.
In fact, when you compare Kakuta to Almiron, Bruce could land a real upgrade on the Paraguay international.
Not only does Kakuta comprehensively outdo Almiron in terms of goal contributions – the Magpies ace has just five goals and three assists this season – he’s also been far more influential in terms of the key underlying numbers too.
As per Whoscored, the Lens attacker averages more shots, key passes and dribbles per game than the 27-year-old, while he also averages more than double the amount of crosses too – the kind of all-around influence that has seen Lens punching above their weight and lying in sixth in Ligue 1.
The £7.2m-rated Kakuta is the kind of attacking midfielder the Magpies desperately need, and one they surely thought they were getting from when they signed Almiron.