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Newcastle: Pete O’Rourke offers Duvan Zapata verdict

A claim has emerged regarding Newcastle United and their interest in Duvan Zapata in the summer transfer window…

What’s the talk?

Journalist Pete O’Rourke has suggested that the Colombia international could be a better fit than former target Hugo Ektike for what Eddie Howe needs next season.

Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain pipped the Magpies to the signing of the young centre-forward, and Zapata has been linked as an alternative option for €25m (£21m).

When asked if he would be a better option than the Frenchman, O’Rourke told Football FanCast: “Yeah, I think obviously Ekitike was somebody with huge potential and a lot of buzz about him, but there’s no guarantee that he’s gonna come in and hit the ground running because he’s still a really young player as well with room to develop.”

“But yeah, Zapata, as I said, I think he’s a proven player. He’s played at the highest level. I’m sure he’s someone who would definitely add to that Newcastle attack and ease the goalscoring burden on Callum Wilson and I think somebody like that is what Newcastle need right now if they are to push up the table and have a good season.”

Dream deal

Eddie Howe can now land a dream deal by securing a swoop to sign Zapata from Atalanta ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.

Ekitike has only scored 14 goals in his senior career and he is yet to prove that he can perform over the course of multiple season. By contrast, the Serie A predator is a proven, consistent scorer who can come straight in and hit the ground running, as O’Rourke has hinted.

His former team-mate Papu Gomez once hailed his physique, saying: “Zapata’s shorts look like underwear, he is so big. Sometimes I don’t even want to get close to him in a match because he’s a beast and it hurts. When he is feeling good he’s like a train – you throw the ball forward and ‘ciao!’ ”

These comments and his goalscoring statistics suggest that he will be a handful for opposition defenders. He has scored 79 goals in 162 outings for Atalanta and 106 goals in 257 Serie A appearances, which shows that he has the quality to score goals on a regular basis at the top level.

Therefore, he would be a dream signing for Howe, as he is an experienced operator who can make an instant impact in the Premier League next season.

Whilst he may not have the potential of a 20-year-old Ekitike, Zapata would come to St James’ Park as a known quantity, and someone on whom the head coach can rely at the top of the pitch in the immediate future.

AND in other news, Ashworth can seal “exciting” signing as NUFC eye swoop for £20m “generational talent”…

Article title: Newcastle: Pete O’Rourke offers Duvan Zapata verdict

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