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Newcastle United keeping tabs on Borna Sosa

Newcastle United are believed to be eyeing a move for Stuttgart defender, Borna Sosa, albeit with the Croatia international also attracting interest from another Premier League club.

What’s the word?

According to Croatian outlet Index, the Magpies are set to try and gazump West Ham United in the race to land the 24-year-old, with the northeast side prepared to place a higher offer than that of the Hammers in order to get a deal done.

The report suggests the east London outfit have been in talks regarding a move for the 6 foot 2 full-back, with David Moyes seemingly prepared to pay around €20m (£17m) to land the six-cap star.

As for those at St James’ Park, this reported interest would suggest that the Tynesiders are on the hunt for another left-back addition, despite having already signed Matt Targett on a permanent deal from Aston Villa, following his promising loan spell at the club last season.

Howe’s own Andy Robertson

It is unsurprising that the former Dinamo Zagreb man is attracting such intense interest, such has been his sparkling form in Germany of late, with Sosa notably netting one goal and providing eight assists in the Bundesliga last term, while also averaging an impressive 2.2 key passes per game from his 28 outings – with that latter metric significantly higher than that of the aforementioned Targett (1.2) from the 2021/22 campaign.

Clearly a forward-thinking and creative talent, the £20.7m-rated man poses a real threat from his left-back/left wing-back berth, notably having been dubbed a “crossing machine” by journalist Ronan Murphy.

The statistics seemingly back up that claim as he ranked fourth in the German top-flight last term for crosses from open play, with 107 to his name, having finished second in the standings for the same metric the year prior (128), behind only the Juventus-bound Filip Kostic.

In that regard, the £15k-per-week ace – who has registered three goals and 23 assists in 83 games for his current side – seemingly mirrors that of Liverpool sensation Andy Robertson, with the Scotland skipper also a notable menace from the flanks.

The rampaging full-back ranked fourth in the Premier League last season for crosses made with 195, having previously finished behind only teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold for total crosses the year prior, registering 294 for the Reds.

There is seemingly a clear comparison to be made between Sosa and Robertson, with the pair sharing a number of statistical and stylistic similarities, as per FBref.

In the case of the Stuttgart man, he ranks in the top 5% for both progressive passes and progressive carries among his peers in Europe’s top five leagues, while it is a remarkably similar tale with the former Hull City star, as he ranks in the top 3% and the top 10% for the same two metrics, respectively.

That fact no doubt illustrates how both men adopt a front-foot attacking approach at left-back, showcasing their brilliance at getting their side into more advanced positions either as a ball-carrier or with an incisive, forward pass.

Such likeness will pique the interest of those at St James’ Park, such has been Robertson’s breathtaking form at Anfield of late, the 28-year-old, who pundit Kevin Phillips dubbed the “best in the world”, having registered 49 assists in his top-flight career thus far – a record only bettered by former Everton man Leighton Baines (53) among defenders in the competition’s history.

Should Sosa be able to replicate such feats, then Howe and co could well be in for a real treat.

Article title: Newcastle United keeping tabs on Borna Sosa

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