Newcastle United are eyeing an ambitious transfer swoop for Bayer Leverkusen starlet Florian Wirtz.
According to a report from German publication SportBild, the Magpies have joined a number of clubs in keeping a track of the young German, and that they had sent a scout to watch him during Leverkusen’s Bundesliga clash against FC Koln at the weekend.
The report does add however that the 18-year-old is unlikely to leave in the near future, and any potential fee to let him go would be very expensive to say the least.
When Newcastle signed Miguel Almiron from Atlanta United a few years ago for what was then a club record fee, Magpies fans were no doubt hoping that he would come in and add some much-needed goals from midfield.
Instead, the Paraguayan has been a complete let-down with his end product, being a bundle of energy but without any calmness or conviction – in fact, in 100 games for the club, he’s scored just 13 goals and provided only five assists.
On the other hand, Wirtz has proven already in his fledgling career with Leverkusen that he is destined for the big time, already making a major impact for one of the biggest sides in German football.
This season alone has seen him net six goals and set up another six in just 12 games in all competitions, including bagging two in the Europa League and striking against Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga.
It’s no surprise then that plenty of people have delivered some rave reviews, with former teammate Aleksandar Dragovic even comparing him to a current Premier League star.
He said: “The lad has a lot of potential and if he keeps his feet on the ground, he could be another Kai Havertz.”
And, one of his current teammates, Julian Baumgartlinger, added: “He’s really emerged quickly. During the lockdown, he came to first-team training, and you could see he’s a special player even though he’s young.”
With his age and goal-scoring record already – he is the youngest scorer in German top-flight history – there’s no questioning that Wirtz is not only a major upgrade on Almiron already, but could leave the Paraguay international in the dust in the future.
The starlet valued at a mammoth £127m by CIES could be the poster boy of this Newcastle revolution under PIF.