Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce is in talks with Stade Brest over the signing of left-back Romain Perraud this summer, although they are set to face significant Premier League competition for him.
Despite the Magpies signing Jamal Lewis from Norwich last summer and seeing Matt Ritchie make an impressive return to form in the final few weeks of the Premier League season, it seems that Bruce is keen on landing a new left-back.
According to French publication L’Equipe (via Get French Football News), the Tyneside club, along with Leeds United and Southampton, are in negotiations with Brest over bringing Perraud to the Premier League.
The report added, however, that the Saints currently lead the race to sign him and are hopeful of completing a deal in the coming days.
In the £7.2m-rated Perraud, not only would they be getting a solid defender, but also someone who really comes into his own going forward and provides his team with a vital attacking outlet – this season has seen him record an impressive seven assists in Ligue 1 alone, compared to the measly one that Lewis managed.
Speaking on his podcast, The Athletic’s Leeds correspondent Phil Hay said: “He’s starting to become one of the leading left-backs, seen by many people, as the best left-back or one of them in France’s top division.
“It’s very clear from the performance data that he’s a very attacking left-back, who is good at creating chances, taking shots himself, a real threat going forward, but also really good at employing the press, good as part of a team that likes to press aggressively.”
A player profile from Get French Football News states: “Romain Perraud rapidly became a fan-favourite at the Stade Charlety, thanks to some Roberto Carlos-esque rockets from outside the box. Keeping everything in perspective, Perraud’s style is, on some points, quite similar to the former Real Madrid full-back’s. He has a fighting mentality, an incredible shot power and a left-foot that has proven throughout the season to be a deadly weapon for set-pieces.”
When you compare Perraud’s and Lewis‘ stats, they are night and day. The Frenchman averaged more shots, key passes, dribbles, tackles and interceptions per game in the league last season and, at 23, is only a few months older than the Magpies defender.
It’s no surprise that, given how Lewis has even fallen behind Ritchie in the pecking order, Bruce is keen on bringing in a more exciting, and attacking left-back this summer.