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Newcastle could find their own Wilfred Ndidi in Edson Alvarez

The summer transfer window slams shut in less than two weeks and Newcastle United have only brought in three players so far.

Dan Ashworth has snapped up Matt Targett on a permanent deal after his loan spell from Aston Villa and brought in Sven Botman and Nick Pope to bolster the defence.

However, the recruitment chief is yet to sign a midfielder or attacker and has until next Thursday to get any remaining business over the line.

One player who could end up at St. James’ Park before the window slams shut is Ajax defensive midfielder Edson Alvarez.

Former GOAL reporter KeryNews recently claimed that the Magpies made an offer for the Mexican and that they will need to pay roughly £42m (€50m) to sign him.

He Tweeted: “Newcastle is the club most interested in Edson Alvarez. The Magpies were willing to offer 30 million euros and Ajax rejected them. The proposal was verbal. It seems that the negotiations have not completely fallen apart and they will make another more important offer.”

The reporter followed that up by adding: “Ajax does not want Edson Alvarez to leave the team in these last days of the market. After rejecting Newcastle’s first offer, they have valued it at 50 million euros. The reason for the price is to scare away those interested (and a hint of what they hope to get after Qatar).”

By snapping up a deal to sign the Mexico international, Eddie Howe could have his own version of Leicester midfielder Wilfred Ndidi.

FB Ref lists them as similar players and their respective statistics back that up. They both rank in the top 2% for clearances per 90 among players in their position over the last 365 days in Europe’s top five leagues and European competition, whilst Alvarez’s 2.91 aerial battles won per 90 puts him seven percentiles higher than Ndidi at 2.49 per 90.

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This shows that they are two of the best holding midfielders around when it comes to their positioning and strength in the air, which allows them to repel opposition crosses and long balls – providing an excellent shield in front of the back four.

Interestingly, the Ajax man – who was dubbed “tenacious” by scout Jacek Kulig – ranks in the 99th percentile for tackles in the final third per 90 with 0.65, whilst the Leicester enforcer sits in the 39th percentile with 0.21 per 90.

This indicates that he would suit Howe’s pressing style of play as he is one of the best players in his position at pushing high up and attempting to win the ball back off the opposition near their own box.

So, whilst he could be the manager’s own Ndidi in the sense that he is terrific at cutting out balls forward from teams, he could be a better option for the way that Newcastle wants to play.

Article title: Newcastle could find their own Wilfred Ndidi in Edson Alvarez

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