Newcastle boss Steve Bruce is said to have made a check on QPR centre-back Rob Dickie amid a potential move for him in the summer transfer window.
With a number of Newcastle’s centre-backs facing an uncertain future at St James’ Park this summer due to their contracts expiring, it’s no surprise that Bruce appears to be targeting a new defender to bolster his ranks.
And, according to The Shields Gazette’s Liam Kennedy, the Magpies made checks on QPR’s Dickie during the season just gone, with the likes of Celtic’s Kristoffer Ajer and Schalke’s Ozan Kabak – who was on loan at Liverpool – also name-checked as potential transfer targets.
Kennedy also added: “Uncertainty remains over the future of both Fabian Schar and Federico Fernandez with both heading into the final days of their contract at United. A one-year extension clause will be activated with Schar, but the Switzerland international is far from certain to stay.”
As per Whoscored, with an average match rating of 7.17 in the Championship last season, Dickie was actually ranked as the seventh-best performing player in the entire division, and the third-best central defender behind only Michal Helik and Grant Hanley.
And, when you look at the 6 foot 4 titan’s key defensive numbers, it’s easy to see why.
Dickie also appears to be a genuine ball-playing centre-back too, making more than ten passes than the man at the top for the Magpies (57.6 passes per game), while only Fabian Schar can better his 3.1 successful long balls per game out of Newcastle’s defenders.
During his time with Oxford United, Dickie was heavily praised by manager Karl Robinson, who dubbed him as “unbelievable“, and said: “I know he’s quick, I know he’s talented, I know he’s great in the air, but I need to see what he’s like when he’s on the floor and see how he stands up. In the second half, I thought Rob Dickie was magnificent.”
Dickie appears to be ready to make the step up to the Premier League given how he has dominated the Championship, and his development into someone who can play out from the back should go down a treat at St James’ Park.
With Schar potentially exiting Tyneside this summer based on Kennedy’s claim, Dickie could be an ideal replacement for the Swiss centre-back.