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Newcastle United Locked In Three-Way Battle With Arsenal & Porto For Full-Back: Right Fit For Bruce?

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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.

According to a recent report by Fotomac, Newcastle United are locked in a three-way battle for Le Havre left-back Umut Meraş this summer. The same source has also stated that the Magpies will face competition from Arsenal and FC Porto in pursuit of the Turkish defender during the summer transfer period. It is believed that the Tyneside outfit have monitored the progress of the Le Havre talent for a long time and are showing keen interest to acquire his services in this off-season (via Fotomac).

Meras’ Eye-Catching Spell In French Football

The 24-year-old has experienced a solid debut season at the Stade Océane after putting in a few impressive displays on the left side of Paul Le Guen’s defence. He had taken part in 22 league matches for the French club last season, picking up one assist, two yellow cards and one red card in the process.

Meras has also produced some dominant defensive displays inside his own half but has struggled to be productive in the final third. He needs to add more goals and assists to his name if he intends to become a top full-back someday.

The Istanbul-born wide player has also earned six senior caps for the Turkish national team but is yet to open his goal-scoring account for his country. Maybe a summer switch to St. James’ Park could provide him with a more prominent platform to showcase his talents and keep his place in Turkey boss Şenol Güneş’ squad ahead of next year’s UEFA European Championship finals following the competition’s deferral due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Newcastle United locked in a three-way battle for Meraş (Newcastle boss Steve Bruce is celebrating in the photo)
Steve Bruce, Manager of Newcastle United celebrates his teams opening goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St. James Park on October 06, 2019, in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

What Are The Turkish Defensive Ace’s Best Attributes?

Meras possesses decent pace in his locker that allows him to make a few driving runs with the ball down the left flank. He excels at dribbling with the ball and can deliver some inviting crosses into the opposition penalty box. The Turkish full-back can be a reliable defender at the back as he can pull off several important interceptions and last-ditch clearances for his team. However, he still has a long way to go before he is ready to feature in the Premier League week in week out.

Is Meras The Right Fit For The Magpies?

If Steve Bruce is only looking to bolster his squad depth at Tyneside, then it makes sense for him to orchestrate a move for Meras this summer. Otherwise, Newcastle would be better of going for a more proven left-back option if they want to improve their chances of competing for silverware in the coming seasons.

At the moment, Meras is not good enough to succeed in the English top-flight. However, if the Magpies are willing to be patient with him, then he might have a shot at becoming a decent full-back in England someday. At 24, the Turkish speedster will only get better with more experience which Bruce could look to offer in the years to come.

However, Meras won’t be a good fit for his team right away as he doesn’t have the skillset or experience to justify a regular starting spot at St. James’ Park. Instead, he would have to fight it out with Paul Dummett in the race to earn first-team football under the expert stewardship of Bruce next season.

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