Thursday, June 1, 2023

Newcastle United Trailing Leeds United In Race For French Midfielder: What Should Be Bruce’s Play?

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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, L’Equipe has claimed that Newcastle United are trailing Leeds United in the race to land Bayern Munich midfielder Michael Cuisance this summer. It is understood that the Bavarian giants are valuing the talented midfielder around £18m with the Magpies set to battle it out with the Whites for the right to secure his signature during this ongoing transfer window (via L’Equipe).

Cuisance’s Uneventful Spell At Bavaria Thus Far

Cuisance was a sporadic feature in Hans-Dieter Flick’s squad last season when he struggled to earn regular first-team starts at the Allianz Arena. The Frenchman’s progress was also disrupted by multiple injuries as he only made 15 appearances for the Munich outfit in the last term, scoring three goals and providing one assist in multiple competitions.

The 21-year-old managed to average 1.3 shots, 0.6 key passes and 1.3 dribbles per game in the 2019-20 Bundesliga campaign. Cuisance even distributed the ball with some conviction after making 84.1% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).

The Straßburg-born midfield ace needs to secure more first-team minutes if he wants to develop himself into a world-class footballer in the years to come. Therefore, it would be a wise move for him to swap clubs in search of greener pastures before next month’s transfer deadline.

Newcastle United trailing Leeds United in the race for Cuisance who is in action in the picture
Michael Cuisance of FC Bayern Muenchen runs with the ball during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Sport-Club Freiburg at Allianz Arena on June 20, 2020, in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

What Does The French Prospect Offer On The Pitch?

Cuisance needs to get some confidence under his belt before he can start performing at a high level on the pitch week in week out. He is a gifted passer of the ball and has shown maturity by contributing on the offensive end with a few goals and assists. However, the French playmaker will have to find a way to be more productive in the final third if he wants to be successful in the coming seasons. Cuisance is still relatively inexperienced, so there are some concerns over whether he has what it takes to cope with the physicality and high intensity of Premier League football.

What Should Be Steve Bruce’s Play Here?

Cuisance has got the skillset to challenge for a regular first-team place at St. James’ Park next season. He will offer some serious competition to the likes of Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden, Sean Longstaff, Matty Longstaff and Jacob Murphy at the Tyneside club if Steve Bruce can find a way to fend off competition from Leeds United and lure him to England this summer.

Hence, it makes sense for the Magpies to step up their efforts to land Cuisance even though they are trailing the Whites at the moment. There is still time left in this transfer window for Bruce to make some late additions to his squad. Cuisance could be a perfect final piece in the Newcastle jigsaw for this new campaign as he will enhance the quality of their midfield unit.

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