Monday, December 5, 2022

Update On Newcastle United’s Pursuit Of This Chelsea Forward: Should Bruce Make A Move For Him?

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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.

In a recent report, the Daily Express has provided an update on Newcastle United‘s pursuit of Chelsea centre-forward Michy Batshuayi this summer. It is believed that the Belgian striker is one of several targets the Magpies are looking to recruit once the Saudi Arabia-funded sale gets done with the Blues set to demand £40m for their prized asset during the summer transfer period (via The Daily Express). However, the same source has also mentioned that the Tyneside outfit are currently trailing West Ham United in the race to secure Batshuayi’s signature in this off-season.

Batshuayi’s Limited Role For Frank Lampard’s Side This Season

The former Standard Liege talent has done remarkably well to produce a series of goal-scoring displays despite earning limited game time at Stamford Bridge this season. He has banged in eight goals and provided three assists in 25 matches for the West London giants this term after receiving a total of 746 minutes of game time in all competitions.

Batshuayi has averaged 1.3 shots, 0.3 key passes and 0.3 dribbles per game in the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League so far which can be a bit misleading as most of his appearances have come off the bench (stats via whoscored).

The Brussel-born striker has also secured 29 senior caps for the Belgian national team, netting 16 goals for his homeland in the process. Maybe a change of scenery could help him earn more first-team opportunities and rediscover his form at the highest level. If Batshuayi can find a run of consistency in terms of goal-scoring in the upcoming campaign, then he would have a decent shot of being named in Roberto Martinez’s squad for next year’s UEFA European Championship finals following the competition’s postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Update on Newcastle United's pursuit of Michy Batshuayi who is celebrating in the picture
Chelsea’s Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi (R) celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the English FA Cup fourth round football match between Hull City and Chelsea at the KCOM Stadium in Kingston upon Hull, northeast England on January 25, 2020. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

What Will The Belgian International Bring To The Table?

Batshuayi can use his quickness and excellent ball-control to complete some dangerous dribbles in the opposition half. He has been a terrific impact substitute for Chelsea this season as he is a lethal finisher in the final third. The Belgian displays good football intelligence that allows him to get into some promising positions in and around the opposition penalty area. He also packs a lot of venom with his shots at goal but can sometimes fade in and out of games due to his low work-rate.

Should The Magpies Table A Bid For Batshuayi This Summer?

Batshuayi has blown hot and cold during his spell in the Premier League. Hence, he will be a risky acquisition for the Tyneside outfit this summer. Steve Bruce will be making a huge gamble if he decides to match Lampard’s demands by paying £40m for his services before the start of the new campaign.

However, there is no denying that Batshuayi can be a prolific goal-scorer when he is playing with confidence on the field. He will not only add some pace and goals to the Newcastle frontline but also enhance the overall depth of their squad. The Belgian could also serve as a significant upgrade over Joelinton who has struggled to find a decent run of form since his arrival at St. James’ Park last summer.

All in all, if the takeover by the Saudi Arabia-based group goes through later this summer, then Bruce should consider making a move for Batshuayi ahead of the new season. Otherwise, the Magpies would be better of opting for a cheaper and a less risky alternative in this off-season.

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