Thursday, December 1, 2022

Newcastle United Identify On Loan Real Madrid Keeper As Summer Target: The Right Choice 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 Le10Sport, Newcastle United have identified Alphonse Areola, who is currently playing on loan at Real Madrid, as a summer target with Steve Bruce looking to strengthen his goalkeeping position before the start of the new campaign.

The same source has also stated that both Los Blancos and the French keeper’s parent club, Paris Saint-Germain have no intention of retaining his services which could open the door for the Magpies to seal a move for him this summer. However, it is believed that the Tyneside outfit could face stiff competition from Chelsea in pursuit of the talented custodian (via Le10Sport).

Areola’s Growing Frustrations At The Bernabeu This Season

Areola has endured a frustrating loan spell at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium after failing to earn regular first-team football under the stewardship of Zinedine Zidane. He has made eight appearances for the Spanish giants this term, conceding nine goals and securing three clean sheets in multiple competitions.

Despite getting limited game time over the past ten months, the Frenchman has done well to provide adequate cover for Thibaut Courtois at the Spanish capital. The 27-year-old has represented France at various youth levels before going on to secure three senior caps for Les Bleus so far.

Newcastle United identify Alphonse Areola as a summer target (Areola is seen in the photo)
Real Madrid’s French goalkeeper Alphonse Areola gestures during the UEFA Champions League Group A football match between Club Brugge and Real Madrid CF at the Jan Breydel Stadium in Bruges on December 11, 2019. (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)

What Are The French Custodian’s Best Attributes?

Areola has razor-sharp reflexes that allow him to pull off some amazing diving saves for his team. He is also a good handler of the ball and can distribute the ball accurately out from the back. The French goalkeeper is often quick to read the danger and is not shy of clearing his lines when under pressure from the opposition. At 27, he is about to embark upon the prime years of his playing career which Bruce could look to benefit from in the coming seasons.

Is Areola The Right Choice For Newcastle?

The Paris-born keeper has got a wealth of experience in France but has failed to earn regular first-team starts while on loan at Madrid. Maybe a change of scenery this summer could give him a chance to make a fresh start and perform at a high-level week in week out.

Even though Martin Dubravka has done well for Newcastle in recent weeks, yet he doesn’t seem like a long-term option for Bruce. The Magpies need a top-quality keeper like Areola if they want to taste some success to St. James’ Park in the years to come. The French goalie will be a significant upgrade over Dubravka, but the jury is still out on whether he has what it takes to cope with the physical nature of English football.

With all things considered, Areola ticks all the right boxes in terms of what Bruce demands from his players. Hence, he will be a decent option for the Tyneside giants to consider ahead of the new season.

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