Sunday, October 2, 2022

Newcastle United Retain Interest In Experienced French Midfielder: Does He Have A Place At St James’?

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Anirban Sarkar
Anirban Sarkar is a former columnist of The 4th Official. A huge East Bengal fan and has travelled over 1000 miles to see his team in action.

The ongoing tussle regarding Mikel Merino’s future has been sorted as the versatile midfielder has signed a new five-year deal permanently. Having signed him initially on loan gaffer Rafa Benitez is quite impressed with his performance and has decided to convert his loan deal.

This move has put questions to Maximo Gonalons’ tentative move to St James Park. The AS Roma midfielder’s agent recently revealed Benitez had expressed interest in bringing his client to the Tyneside but the deal is now uncertain following Merino’s permanent move to the Tyneside.

Benitez wasn’t sure over Merino’s capability as the former Borussia Dortmund player never played on the big stage on a consistent basis. But now, he has proved his mettle in the big league and is destined to have a brighter future at the St James Park.

Gonalons moved to Rome in the summer from Lyon and could have easily moved to the Tyneside. The French international is a seasoned professional having spent his entire career at the French club until this move happened. His experience of playing in the Champions League could be a boost for the Magpies.

The 28-year-old had a quiet season at Lyon but still, his quality attracted a lot of attention in the European circuit and Roma snapped him up although they are yet to use him to his potential till now. Benitez is a long-term admirer of the player and tried to sign him when he was in the charge of Napoli. “Maxime was very close to Napoli, three to four years ago.

“Benitez wanted him a lot, and wanted him this summer at Newcastle. We have preferred the Italian championship because it is very tactical football, and Maxime works on his game day after day.” His agent said.

The gaffer would love to have the player, for whom he has been craving for, but Merino’s deal might be a block for this move.

Also, there is a stiff confusion over the current situation at the club. Mike Ashley seems to have put the club up for sale and if he is to leave, the club this upcoming January transfer window is likely to be the tiniest transfer window in the last few seasons.

Despite spending a season in the Championship, the Toon have adjusted themselves quite beautifully and are now looking to challenge for a place in the top half of the table. But can Gonalons help them in their endeavour?

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