According to The Times, Newcastle United are monitoring the situation of Granit Xhaka. The Magpies are ready to pounce should the Arsenal midfielder ask to leave the club in January, after being relieved of his role as captain. It is believed that Xhaka wants to play regular football so he can be a part of Switzerland’s Euro 2020 team next year and Newcastle are ready to provide that, it seems.
Why do Newcastle need a new midfielder?
Newcastle United were one of the busiest teams during the summer transfer window. After a takeover failed to materialise, the Magpies had to settle for Steve Bruce, with Rafael Benitez leaving the helm. But, the new-look Newcastle have struggled so far, despite showing signs of promise, at times.
One of the key reasons behind their downfall has been the lack of quality in midfield. Jonjo Shelvey has been awful this season and his days at Newcastle could be numbered while Ki Sung-Yeung has barely played.
Isaac Hayden has done well for the most part. But, the 24-year-old has lacked the presence of an imposing figure, who can provide further solidity in midfield. And frankly, Sean Longstaff is a misfit given Bruce’s tactics. He is much suited to a more possession-based style of play.
Therefore, Newcastle must sign a new midfielder in the upcoming January transfer window, who can not only replace Shelvey but can also prove to be an upgrade over Hayden.
Is Xhaka the ideal target?
Xhaka may not be a bad option for Newcastle United for multiple reasons. For one, the Swiss international is known for his aggression, which perfectly suites the mentality of this team and something that could combine well with Hayden in midfield.
The ex-Gladbach star can make tackles and disrupt the passing lanes of the opposition. Moreover, he is capable of distributing possession, thus adding another dimension to the Newcastle United midfield. Not to mention, the Arsenal enforcer has a vast amount of experience at the highest level of football.
It is, however, fair to mention that Xhaka has a mentality problem and is prone to losing his temper during certain situations, which, in turn, could be detrimental for the team. Besides, it seems unlikely that the midfielder would want to move to Newcastle, especially if he receives offers from a top Spanish or German club. A return to Gladbach may still be on the cards.
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