Friday, July 1, 2022

Newcastle United Eyeing A Summer Move For This £2m Defender: 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.

The Sun has revealed that Newcastle United are eyeing a summer move for Oxford United captain Rob Dickie. It is believed that the Magpies boss Steve Bruce is looking at young British talents to bolster his squad this summer and has identified the English centre-back as an ideal option during this summer transfer window. Dickie has got less than a year remaining in his current contract at the Kassam Stadium and would be available for a bargain fee of around £2m (via The Sun).

Dickie’s Spectacular Season In The League One

The 24-year-old was a consistent performer in the League One last season as he produced a run of impressive performances as the chief defender of the Oxfordshire outfit’s backline. He made 49 appearances for Karl Robinson’s side in the previous campaign, netting one goal and picking up four assists on all fronts.

The former Reading centre-back was a regular feature for Oxford United and managed to average 1.0 tackles, 2.4 interceptions and 4.8 clearances per game in the third tier of English football. Dickie had also been tidy with his ball-distribution as he boasts a pass completion rate of 80.4% in league football (stats via whoscored).

The English defensive ace has led his Oxford team by example and deserves a summer switch to a top-flight club based on his incredible form last season. However, there are some serious question marks over whether Dickie will be able to maintain his high standards in the Premier League if Newcastle manage to lure him to St. James’ Park ahead of the new campaign.

Newcastle United eyeing a summer move for Rob Dickie who is in action in the photo
Rob Dickie of Oxford United is challenged by Alex Samuel of Wycombe Wanderers during the Sky Bet League One Play-Off Final between Oxford United and Wycombe Wanderers at Wembley Stadium on July 13, 2020, in London, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

What Will The English Centre-Half Bring To Tyneside?

Dickie can be a powerful presence at the back as he has got the upper-body strength to win a lot of 50-50 aerial duels with the opposition inside his half. He made a name for himself for dealing with the danger and has been one of the top defenders in the League One over the past 12 months. The English talent can time his challenges to perfection that helps him to earn possession back for his team.

An up-and-coming lower league defender like Dickie could turn out to be a calculated risk for the Magpies in this off-season. The Oxford star is yet to prove his worth at the top level, so he might struggle if he is directly thrown into the deep waters of Premier League football next season.

However, if Bruce is willing to be patient with the English defender, then he could prove to be a shrewd buy for Newcastle before the start of the new season. He will stabilise the Magpies’ defence and has got what it takes to offer some serious competition for the likes of Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schar, Federico Fernandez, Florian Lejeune and Ciaran Clark at St. James’ Park in the coming seasons.

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