Monday, September 26, 2022

Newcastle United Showing Interest In Recruiting This French Full-Back: Good Option 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.

In a recent report, Foot Mercato has claimed that Newcastle United are showing interest in recruiting Southampton full-back Yan Valery who is currently playing on loan at Birmingham City. It is believed that the Magpies could face competition in the form of Olympique Marseille in pursuit of the French defender this summer (via Foot Mercato).

Valery’s Encouraging Loan Spell At St. Andrew’s

Valery has been a sporadic feature for Birmingham since joining on loan back in the January transfer window. The French sensation has featured in seven matches for the West Midlands outfit this term but is yet to score or assist for them in the league.

The 22-year-old has caught the eye by averaging 1.1 tackles, 1.3 clearances and 1.0 dribbles per game in the EFL Championship this season. His numbers are quite impressive as most of his appearances in the second half of this campaign have come off the bench. However, Valery has been sloppy with his ball distribution as he has completed only 49.2% of his attempted passes in the second tier of English football (stats via whoscored).

At 22, Valery has still got a lot of room for improvement, so he could grow into a top talent under the watchful eyes of Steve Bruce if the Magpies can arrange for a move to bring him to Merseyside when the transfer window commences later this year.

Newcastle United showing interest in recruiting Valery who is seen in the picture
Yan Valery of Southampton tackles Cedric Soares of Arsenal during the Premier League match at St Mary s Stadium, Southampton. Picture date: 26th January 2021. Picture credit should read: David Klein/Sportimage PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK SPI-0873-0032

Is Valery A Good Option For The Magpies?

Valery is a moderately paced full-back who loves to make some darting runs with the ball down the right flank. He is a hard-working player who can get stuck in with a few crunching tackles and can take charge of the situation by clearing his lines when required.

However, the one-time France Under-18 international needs to improve his end-product in the attacking third if he intends to play at the highest level week in week out. Hence, he could serve as a shrewd, long-term acquisition for Newcastle if they can successfully get him on board in this off-season.

Bruce has the experience to nurture him into a future star at St. James’ Park but the jury is still out on whether Valery can handle the physical demands of top-flight football. With all things considered, the Tyneside outfit would be wise to recruit him on the cheap as he will be a good option for them in the long term. Furthermore, he would add some much-needed competition for Emil Krafth and Javier Manquillo for the right-back spot in Bruce’s first XI.

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