Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Newcastle United Among Clubs In Pursuit Of This English Midfielder: What Will He Bring To Tyneside?

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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 The Guardian, Newcastle United are among several clubs in pursuit of Queens Park Rangers midfielder Eberechi Eze this summer. The same source has also revealed that the Magpies will face competition from West Ham United, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion in the race to acquire his services during the summer transfer period.

Eze’s Incredible Season At Loftus Road

The ex-Arsenal youngster has enjoyed a fantastic campaign at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium after producing a run of dominant performances as the chief playmaker of Mark Warburton’s attack. He scored 14 goals and provided eight assists in 48 appearances for the London club last season across multiple competitions, which showcase just how effective he has been in the EFL Championship over the past ten months.

Eze has been enjoying a decent run of form for QPR based on his average of 1.2 tackles, 0.5 interceptions, 2.2 shots, 1.8 key passes, 3.0 dribbles and 1.2 crosses per game in the English second tier. He has also been quite accurate with his ball-distribution after completing 86.5% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).

The 21-year-old has also played for England at various youth levels and is currently playing a key role for his country’s Under-21 team, having made two appearances for them so far. Maybe a high-profile move to St. James’ Park this summer could offer him a chance to showcase his skills at the highest level so that he can catch the attention of England boss, Gareth Southgate, ahead of next summer’s UEFA European Championship finals.

Newcastle United among several clubs in pursuit of Eberechi Eze who is in action in the picture
Eberechi Eze of QPR in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Derby County at The Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium on February 25, 2020, in London, England. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

What Will The English Youngster Bring To St. James’ Park?

Eze can use his pace and agility to make some darting runs in and around the opposition penalty area. He is not shy of working hard to cover every blade of grass in the opposition half. The QPR whizkid has shown this season that he can be a prolific goal-scorer and assist-maker in the Championship. However, the jury is still out on whether he has what it takes to maintain his high standards against the best sides of the Premier League if given a chance to join the top-flight in this off-season.

Eze has often been used as an attacking midfielder this season, but can also operate as a box to box midfielder or assume the duties of a left-sided wide player if required. At the moment, Steve Bruce has got Miguel Almiron, Matt Ritchie and Allan Saint-Maximum as his primary playmakers at St. James’ Park. However, none of them had managed to find a run of consistency with their performances last season.

Therefore, an attacker of Eze’s skill set and potential will undeniably be a major coup for the Magpies if they can win the race for his signature this summer. He will not only add more pace and goal-threat to Bruce’s attack but also increase competition for places within his squad at Tyneside.

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