If reports are to be believed, Newcastle United are interested in Wolfsburg midfielder Joshua Guilavogui. The Magpies are reportedly looking for a defensive midfielder in the market this summer, despite having already signed Borussia Dortmund youngster Mikel Merino. Guilavogui has been already capped eight times by the French National Team, but multiple clubs are showing interest in the services of the French midfielder, including Nice. So why is there so much hype surrounding the former Atletico midfielder? Here’s a quick SWOT analysis about the 26-year-old.
Guilavogui is a physically imposing player, who can gains advantage over his opposition thanks to his physical prowess. His height and aggression help him excel in the role of a central defensive midfielder. Guilavogui can be very imposing as a holding midfielder, largely due to his defensive qualities. He can be also a threat from corners and the opposition need special man-marking schemes in order to prevent him from being too effective from set-pieces. He is a proper definition of a holding midfielder, who can not only impose his physicality on the pitch but can also disrupt the flow of the opposition. He is not afraid to go into dangerous tackles either. Put simply, Joshua Guilavogui is a proper team player.
He has an astonishing sense of positioning, having amassed a remarkable 82 interceptions last season – with an average of four per game! Despite playing in just 20 games last season, Guilavogui’s defensive contributions have been very pivotal for Wolfsburg. In fact, the 26-year-old averages more defensive actions per game than natural defenders like Robin Knoche, Luiz Gustavo, Sebastian Jung and Stoke City defender Philipp Wollschied. Only Jeffrey Bruma attained a higher defensive actions per game rate than the former ASSE midfielder. He is also fairly decent when it comes to aerial challenges.
He’s definitely not the paciest midfielders around and that’s something which separates him from other young midfielders these days. Of course, he can be speedy enough to intercept the odd pass but he really tends to struggle playing against high octane oppositions. His shooting abilities and offensive output aren’t the greatest either. Guilavogui’s total accuracy last season stood at 0%, with all his SIX shots being off-target, which makes him rather inferior compared to other evolved midfielders in the Premier League or even the Bundesliga nowadays. While also having a tendency of making wild and reckless challenges – that’s something which shouldn’t be too much of a problem considering the way the game has evolved in recent years. Although a certain degree of aggression is good for a professional footballer but at the highest level, such as the Premier League, temper like that can often cause trouble, especially for his team.
As mentioned earlier, Newcastle are looking for a defensive midfielder before the transfer window shuts down. The Magpies already have guys like Jonjo Shelvey, Jack Colback, Isaac Hayden and Mohamed Diame in the centre of the pitch but the addition of Guilavogui is sure to spice things up. He will definitely make a strong case for a starting berth in the club’s lineup, which will force the other midfielders to work hard in order to find a place in the team. It is claimed that a fee £13.7 million will be enough for Newcastle to lure the Wolfsburg man to the Premier League, a fairly cheap price for a PL outfit.
There aren’t any significant threats, in signing Joshua Guilavogui. Of course, he doesn’t have any Premier League experience up his sleeves, but hey, don’t let it skew your brain as his characteristics as a player is perfectly suited for the English League. In addition, he won’t cost a fortune either. The only threat remains is the interest from Nice, the reigning French outfit, who can offer Champions League football. Time will tell whether or not will Rafa Benitez’s men can lure the Frenchman to Newcastle but make no mistake, he has everything that it requires to thrive in the pronounced best league in the world.
[All stats are taken from Squawka]
Anas Ali Molla
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