In a recent print edition, Jornal de Notícias mentioned that Newcastle United are keeping tabs on Sporting CP midfielder Joao Palhinha. It has been claimed that the Magpies are monitoring the Portuguese midfielder’s progress ahead of a move in the summer.
Palhinha’s Decent Run Of Form In Portuguese Football
Palhinha has enjoyed a solid campaign at the José Alvalade Stadium as he has been responsible for putting in some encouraging performances at the heart of Sporting’s midfield. The 26-year-old has banged in three goals in 30 matches for the Portuguese giants this season across all fronts.
The 12-time Portugal international has been a consistent performer over the past few months as he is averaging 3.3 tackles, 1.0 interceptions, 1.2 clearances, 1.2 shots and 0.7 dribbles per 90 minutes in the Portuguese top tier. He has even taken care of the ball when interchanging possession with his teammates from midfield, as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 86.6% in league football (stats via whoscored).
Is Palhinha A Good Choice For Newcastle United?
Palhinha is a tough-tackling midfielder who can get stuck in with some crunching challenges to make life difficult for the opposition attackers. He is usually quick to read the danger and doesn’t mind putting his foot through the ball to clear his lines when needed. The Portugal international can chip in by netting the odd goal from time to time but needs to figure out a way to be more creative with his passing in the final third.
Palhinha will inject more quality to Newcastle’s attacking department and could go on to become a future star in English football if the Magpies manage to get him on board this summer.
The Sporting star has what it takes to become a key player in Howe’s first XI which makes him a decent choice for the Tyneside outfit to pursue at the end of this campaign. At 26, Palhinha is enjoying his prime and is well-equipped to make an instant impact in England if Howe decides to snap him up later this year.