Saturday, October 1, 2022

Update On Newcastle United’s Pursuit Of This Ligue 1 Frontman: Should Bruce Go 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 interview with Top Mercato (via The Chronicle), Reims president Jean-Pierre Caillot has provided an update on Boulaye Dia’s future amid recent interest from Newcastle United ahead of the January transfer window. Caillot said, “(Dia) could have left this summer (but) he did not leave because he did not receive the offer he wanted.

“Boulaye refused two offers, from Lokomotiv Moscow and Hellas Verona. For various reasons, he did not want to go to these clubs.

“If he stays (beyond January), I would be delighted. If he has an offer that suits him and us too, I could not object because I gave him my word.”

Earlier this week, The Chronicle claimed that the Magpies along with Brighton and Hove Albion and Marseille were monitoring the Senegalese marksman’s progress at the Stade Auguste-Delaune.

Dia’s Incredible Start To This Ligue 1 Campaign

Dia has been a joy to watch as the focal point of David Guion’s attack this season as he has caught the eye for producing a series of goal-scoring performances in the Ligue 1. The France-born marksman has banged in eight goals in ten appearances for Reims this term across all competitions.

The three-time Senegalese international has done well to average 2.8 shots, 0.8 key passes and 1.3 dribbles per game in the French top tier. However, the 24-year-old has sometimes been guilty of giving away possession cheaply when distributing the ball in the offensive end of the field as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 75.2% in league football (stats via whoscored).

Update on Newcastle United's pursuit of Boulaye Dia who is celebrating in the picture
Reims French forward Boulaye Dia celebrates after scoring during the French L1 football match between Stade Rennais Football Club and Stade de Reims at the Roazhon Park stadium in Rennes, northwestern France on October 4, 2020. (Photo by DAMIEN MEYER/AFP via Getty Images)

What Will The Senegalese International Bring To St. James’ Park?

Dia can use his quickness to make a few well-timed runs in the final third and has transformed himself into an accomplished finisher in front of the opponent’s goal. He possesses the strength to outmuscle his marker and cause a lot of problems inside the penalty box.

However, one can argue whether the Senegalese striker has what it takes to succeed in the Premier League, where he might struggle to cope with the high intensity of English football. Even then, the Magpies will do well to get him on board this winter if they have the funds to pull off such a transfer. At 24, he still has a lot of room for improvement in his game and could be an ideal long-term option for Bruce in January.

Should The Magpies Launch A Move For Dia In January?

Dia’s recent record suggests that he could be a good partner for Callum Wilson at St. James’ Park. He will undoubtedly be an upgrade over Andy Carroll, Joelinton and Dwight Gayle as they have all struggled to nail down a first-team place under Steve Bruce’s tutelage thus far. All in all, the Tyneside giants should consider launching a reasonable offer to bring Dia to the north-east of England at the start of next year.

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