Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Why Rafael Benitez Should Consider Signing This La Liga Midfielder For Newcastle United?

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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 done well to steer clear of the relegation zone in recent weeks. They are still trying to establish themselves as Premier League regulars under Rafael Benitez. However, no one would argue that Newcastle owner Mike Ashley’s reluctance to spend any money over the past few years has hampered the overall growth of Benitez’s team at Tyneside. 

The Magpies did break their transfer record to bring in Miguel Almiron from Atlanta United during the January transfer window, so maybe it is a sign of things to come, and Benitez might be backed again in the summer.

If Newcastle are willing to spend some cash ahead of the new campaign, then they can probably benefit from bringing in a new midfielder as their current options of Isaac Hayden and Sean Longstaff have a lot of potential, but one could argue that it might be too early for them to feature in the Premier League every week.

Hence, they should look at recruiting Dani Garcia from Athletic Bilbao at the end of this campaign. The Spaniard has been a commanding presence in the Bilbao midfield and has already put in some impressive displays for the La Liga outfit during this campaign.

The Bilbao talent is a defensive midfielder by trade, and he can be considered as one of the best players in his position in the La Liga. The Tyneside outfit will undoubtedly benefit from acquiring a player of his talents as Benitez needs a solid defensive presence in his midfield at St. James’ Park.

Garcia is an excellent tackler of the ball and can make timely interceptions during a match as evidenced by his stellar record this season. The Spanish midfield enforcer has made 20 league appearances for Bilbao this term, making 1.8 tackles and 1.7 interceptions per match. The 28-year-old also has one assist to his name even though he is not a creative force in midfield by any means (Stats taken from Whoscored).

If Benitez is looking for a one-dimensional talent who is excellent in what he does well on the pitch, then Garcia will be a smart addition to his team. However, he won’t be the answer to Newcastle’s woes going forward as he doesn’t have the skillset to make an impact in the attacking third of the pitch. 

Garcia is also quite strong in the air and has a knack for winning most of the 50-50 aerial duels at the centre of the park. Thus, it makes a lot of sense for the Magpies to opt for a defensive player like Garcia who could be the centre-piece in their team over the next few years.

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