Newcastle United confirm the signing of Antonio Barecca on loan from Monaco

Newcastle completed the signing of Antonio Barecca from Monaco on Thursday, as per the club’s official Twitter account, with the left-back set to stay on Tyneside until at least the end of the season on a six-month loan deal, with a view to joining permanently.

What’s the word, then?

Barecca is a pivotal signing for Rafa Benitez, as the Magpies boss has been desperate for another left-back to compete with Paul Dummett, who was the only recognised option in that role before the arrival of the 23-year-old from Monaco.

The Italian only joined the Ligue 1 club in the summer from Serie A side Torino, but he has made just eight appearances so far this season, as per Transfermarkt, as Monaco sit just one place off the bottom of the league, with relegation a serious possibility.

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Benitez has had to play Matt Ritchie in a left wing-back role whilst Dummett has been missing through injury, so Barecca’s arrival at St James’ Park will be a huge bonus to what was looking like a severely malnourished area in the Magpies’ team.

The beginning of the end for Ritchie?

An exclusive report from TEAMtalk on Thursday suggested that the Scottish international wanted to leave the club in order to move further south to be closer to his family, and following Barecca’s arrival along with the signing of Miguel Almiron (via the BBC), the 29-year-old’s long-termfuture at the club looks bleak.

The capture of Barecca, coupled with Dummett waiting in the wings, should ensure that Ritchie never plays in a left wing-back role again, although his preferred position higher up the pitch in attack is now under threat by the Paraguayan international Almiron.

Given his reported unhappiness at the club, and with his position in the starting XI now under serious threat, perhaps the former Bournemouth man’s time on Tyneside could come to an end in the summer after a two-and-a-half-year stint with the Magpies.

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