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Newcastle eyeing swoop for Celtic’s Matt O’Riley

An update has emerged regarding Newcastle United‘s interest in Matt O’Riley in the summer transfer window…

What’s the talk?

According to ESPN, the Magpies are among a number of Premier League clubs eyeing up a swoop to sign the central midfielder.

The report claims that Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, and Leicester are among the other English clubs keen on him, whilst Lille, Borussia Dortmund, and Wolfsburg are also in the mix.

It is stated that an offer of up to £20m could be enough to tempt Celtic into cashing in on him, although they are not looking to sell him at this moment in time.

Big Joe Willock upgrade

Newcastle snapped up Joe Willock on a permanent deal from Arsenal in the summer of 2021 after a fruitful loan spell, but he endured a difficult first full season on Tyneside.

He averaged a SofaScore rating of 6.71 in the top flight, placing him 17th in the Magpies’ squad, which shows that he was nowhere near being one of the club’s top performers despite arriving for a fee of £25m.

He scored two goals and failed to register an assist or create a single ‘big chance’, whilst averaging 0.6 key passes per game, as he struggled to make a significant impact at the top end of the pitch.

Meanwhile, O’Riley enjoyed an excellent campaign with Celtic in Scotland and has the potential to be a big upgrade on Willock as an attack-minded midfielder.

Pundit Michael Stewart previously described him as “silky” and “classy”, and talent scout Jacek Kulig once dubbed him a “magician“. After an impressive performance against Rangers in February, Kulig said that the 21-year-old was the “Old Firm Derby silent hero. The amount of work he has done tonight is immense. He was literally everywhere”.

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Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson celebrates with Joelinton

How many 2021/22 Premier League goals did Newcastle score?

In the Premiership last season, the Danish gem chipped in with four goals and three assists in 16 appearances. He created six ‘big chances’ and made 2.2 key passes per game – more than any Newcastle player managed in the Premier League – and averaged a SofaScore rating of 7.40.

O’Riley has started the current campaign in a similar vein, with two ‘big chances’ created and 12 key passes in four league outings, highlighting his creativity and ability to regularly tee up his team-mates for shots.

Therefore, if he can make the step up to Premier League, he could be a big upgrade on Willock at Newcastle by offering far more quality on the ball.

The statistics suggest that he could do more damage than the Englishman at the top end of the pitch whilst performing to a higher standard on a weekly basis; and at the age of 21, he still has plenty of scope to further develop and improve his skills.

Article title: Newcastle eyeing swoop for Celtic’s Matt O’Riley

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