Friday, October 7, 2022

Newcastle United Retain Interest In PSG Ace: Should Rafa Make A Move In January?

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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.

Newcastle United are reportedly keeping tabs on Paris Saint Germain goalkeeper Alphonse Areola. The shot-stopper has long been on the wish list of Rafa Benitez and the Spanish gaffer wants to revive his interest in January.

Areola has been a regular in the French side following an injury to first-choice keeper Kevin Trapp. The Magpies had their fair share of problems regarding the goalkeeping section. Tim Krul didn’t help Benitez and was initially sent on loan to Brighton & Hove Albion.

But after only one month, the Seagulls decided to offer him a permanent deal of one year and the Dutch keeper readily agreed. Benitez has been relying on Rob Elliot this season and the 31-year-old has been able to restore his faith to some extent but the need of a proper number.1 is still very much visible.

Karl Darlow had a tremendous last season in goal but he had very limited opportunities this season. Areola has only improved with time and has done an excellent work for the French giants so far. He was too error-prone in the earlier stage of his career but the French international has worked out immensely on his ball-handling and is now a better keeper than he was.

Despite dishing out pretty consistent performances, his place appears to be under consideration and it remains to be seen how Unai Emery handles the situation once Trapp returns from the injury. Areola is also one of the least paid players at the club so the lure of playing in one of the big Leagues might convince him to leave the Parc Des Princes.

He came through the youth system of PSG and has been with the club since 2010. He had a number of loan stints at various clubs which have helped him to grow as a player. Benitez has gone frustrated over the Magpies’ lack of transfer activity in the summer and might use the January transfer window to undergo a squad overhaul.

Areola is believed to be in a club hunting mood as he wants more first-team game time and Benitez can certainly help the shot-stopper with his demand. The current goalkeeping slot is pretty irregular at the moment at the St James’ and Areola could seize this opportunity to ease his way to the side.

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