Tuesday, January 31, 2023

3 Replacements For 21 Y/O Ligue 1 Ace At Newcastle United Including This Belgian Star!

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

Newcastle United have tabled an official offer for LOSC Lille midfielder Thiago Maia but their attempts have been turned down by the French club. According to recent reports, the Magpies had made an offer to secure the services of the Brazilian youngster on loan with an option to make it a permanent deal next year.

However, some sources have recently claimed that Newcastle’s bid has been declined by the Ligue 1 outfit as they want to sell him outright. It has been suggested that Lille are eager to cash in on their prized asset this summer but will only consider permanent moves for the Brazilian starlet.

The 21-year-old joined the Stade Pierre-Mauroy side from Santos in a £12m deal last summer and had put in a number of eye-catching displays during the course of last season which has not gone unnoticed by other clubs.

With Lille declining the Magpies’ offer for the Brazilian midfielder, let’s take a look at three alternatives for Rafael Benitez to consider in this post-season.

Denis Zakaria (Borussia Mönchengladbach)

The 21-year-old Swiss sensation was in outstanding form for Bundesliga side Borussia Mönchengladbach last season. Zakaria is very versatile and can play in a number of different positions across the pitch. He can operate in a defensive midfield role or in a more advanced position in the middle of the park. The Switzerland youngster can also be deployed as a centre-back which makes him a perfect fit for the Magpies. Benitez will do well to prise him away from German football as he can turn out to be a future superstar under the Spanish manager’s guidance if given a nurturing environment to showcase his talents.

Rodrigo Hernández (Villarreal):

The 22-year-old playmaker has been in majestic form for Villarreal since the turn of the year and had put in some impressive performances in the La Liga which helped his side attain a 5th placed finish in the league table. The Spanish midfield enforcer had made 47 appearances for the Yellow Submarine last season, finding the back of the net once while providing 4 assists in all competitions. Rodri can be considered as one of the most promising young defensive midfielders in European football and would be a good fit under Rafa Benitez at St. James’ Park.

Read More: Newcastle United Decline Sizeable Offer For 28 Y/O Winger: Does He Have A Future Under Rafa?

Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht):

The 23-year-old midfielder is currently plying his trade at RSC Anderlecht and had put in some solid performances for the Belgian top-flight side during the course of last season. He had featured in 44 matches for his club in the last campaign in all competitions and has one goal and three assists to his name. Dendoncker has incredible potential and could turn out to be an ideal asset under Benitez if given the chance to make a switch to Tyneside. The Anderlecht playmaker has also managed to make an impression in the international stage when he featured for the Belgium national team in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

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