Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Newcastle United Fail In Their Efforts To Land This Promising Defender: Big Blow 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 print edition, L’Equipe (via Sport Witness) mentioned that Newcastle United have failed in their efforts to land Olympique Marseille defender Duje Caleta-Car on deadline day. It has been stated that the Croatia international was ‘not convinced’ with the offer to join the Magpies and instead chose to stay at Marseille beyond this summer.

Caleta-Car’s Solid Season In French Football

Caleta-Car had an impressive campaign in Southern France as he put in several solid performances for Marseille on the defensive end of the field. The 24-year-old was involved in 39 matches for the French club last season, netting two goals and securing one assist across various competitions.

The Croat sensation caught the eye by averaging 0.9 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 3.9 clearances per 90 minutes in Ligue 1 football. He was even accurate when interchanging possession with his teammates from the back after he completed 86.1% of his attempted passes in the French first division (stats via whoscored).

Caleta-Car has successfully established himself as a solid defender in French football, so missing out on him will be a bitter pill to swallow for Newcastle United on deadline day. The Magpies boss Steve Bruce needed someone of the Croat’s skillset to add more quality to his match-day squad. However, the transfer window has now closed and the Tyneside outfit are now left with the same centre-backs they had last season.

Newcastle United fail in their efforts to land Caleta-Car who is seen in the picture
Croatia v Armenia – International Friendly, Länderspiel, Nationalmannschaft Duje Caleta Car of Croatia during friendly match between Croatia and Armania at SRC Velika Gorica Stadium, in Velika Gorica, Croatia, on June 1. SlavkoxMidzor/PIXSELL

Newcastle Fail To Land Caleta-Car On Deadline Day: Big Blow For The Magpies?

Caleta-Car can get stuck in with some crunching tackles to hamper the opponent’s rhythm in the game and has got the hunger to earn possession back for his side. He usually clears his lines when the opposition are on the front foot. The 16-time Croatia international is even a tidy passer of the ball and can use his strong 1.92m frame to be a dominant force in the air. He is also not afraid to put his body on the line to block a goal-bound shot.

The Marseille defensive ace would have undeniably added some much-needed quality to Bruce’s starting XI. The Magpies have currently got Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark, Federico Fernandez and Fabian Schar vying for a spot in their first team. However, all of them have struggled to find consistency in recent seasons.

Hence, there is no denying that Caleta-Car’s reluctance to move to St. James’ Park was a huge blow for the Tyneside outfit as they are now in for another long and grueling season in the Premier League that might once again involve Newcastle finding themselves at the center of a relegation dogfight.

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