Newcastle United have been linked with a move for Real Valladolid winger Gonzalo Plata in recent times, with manager Eddie Howe seemingly keen to bolster his wide options.
That’s according to journalist Pete O’Rourke – speaking to GIVEMESPORT – who suggested that the Ecuadorian international could well be an attainable target for the Magpies, having been linked with his signature of late.
The transfer insider stated: “It is a position that Newcastle would like to add to, they do want to bring in [a winger]. He’s a pacey winger who can play wide on the left.
“I think he could be somebody who could be very gettable this January transfer window. Especially with his price tag, I don’t think Real Valladolid would be in any position to turn down any sizable offer for his signature.”
The Tynesiders may well face competition to sign the 32-cap gem – who made the move to Spain on an £8.5m deal in the summer after an initial loan move – amid reports that the likes of Leeds United, Atletico Madrid and Roma have all tracked his progress previously.
The former Sporting Lisbon man is currently shining on the international stage, having played “impressed” in Ecuador’s promising start to the World Cup in Qatar, in the words of journalist Ben Jacobs, playing the full 90 minutes in the South American nation’s opening two group games.
That impact has come amid the youngster’s encouraging displays at club level in recent times, having chipped in with two assists in ten La Liga outings this season, after previously registering 11 goal involvements in the second tier last term.
While not prolific, the winger would certainly add real flair to Howe’s attacking ranks were sporting director Dan Ashworth to get a deal wrapped up, with the highly-rated “trickster” – as described by Adrian Blanco – a truly dynamic asset in attack.
That is certainly the verdict of transfer insider Dean Jones, who described Plata as a ‘game-changer’, while also stating: ‘He’s got pace to burn, he’ll mesmerise people with his trickery and he’s got a finish on him as well. Plata is one of those players you could watch for hours on end.’
Bringing the explosive talent to St James’ Park could well see Howe and co find their answer to Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha, with the skilful Ivorian also offering a real direct and dangerous prospect from his wide berth.
The two men are not only alike as a result of their somewhat maverick talent, but the pair also share a number of stylistic and statistical similarities, as per FBref, with Plata notably ranking in the top 7% for dribbles completed in Europe among those in his position, while the Eagles ace ranks in the top 13% for the same metric – albeit with the latter man having recorded more minutes.
Such a comparison will have piqued the interest of those back at Newcastle such has been Zaha’s impact in the Premier League in recent years, with the 30-year-old – who has been linked with the Magpies of late – scoring 67 goals and 29 assists in 291 games in the competition to date.
To be able to secure a new, more youthful addition in the mould of the Selhurst Park star would surely be a mouthwatering prospect for the Champions League hopefuls, with Ashworth seemingly needing to do all he can to get a deal secured.