Newcastle chasing left-back Josha Vagnoman

Newcastle are reportedly eyeing a move for Hamburg youngster Josha Vagnoman – could he solve the Magpies’ long-running search for a left-back?

What’s the story?

According to BILD, Newcastle are one of several English teams interested in the 18 year-old defender.

The report claims that the Magpies, along with both Fulham and Brentford, have approached player’s agency about a potential move.

BILD say they expect the asking price to be around €10m (about £8.6m).

The teenager did sign a new contract in Hamburg last summer, but it only extends to the summer of 2021.

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Is he good enough?

Vagnoman is very highly rated by his club, and it’s easy to see why. At 6 ft 1 in tall and already showing great physicality for such a young player, the 18 year-old would be well prepared for the rough and tumble of the Premier League.

As if often the case with players that rise through the ranks in Germany, he is also extremely technically gifted and reliable in possession.

This combination of size, strength and technical quality means that Rafael Benitez could happily deploy him at left-wing-back in his usual five-at-the-back formation, or let him spray the ball around from deep like Fabian Schar has done this season.

Another solution needed in the short-term

However, Vagnoman is only 18, and has just one Bundesliga appearance to his name, with his showings this season all coming in the 2.Bundesliga after his side were relegated last year.

This would make him a huge risk to come in and take over at left-back straight away, and it could be as many as two to three years on Tyneside before he is really ready to compete week in week out in the world’s most competitive league.

Benitez and the club are right to eye Vagnoman this summer – he is a fantastic young player with sky-high potential. His lack of experience is his one major flaw though, and the Magpies should not consider him an immediate solution to their left-back problem.