Sunday, August 14, 2022

Newcastle United Showing Interest In This Arsenal Defender: Should Howe Get Him On Board?

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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 tweet, French journalist Fabrice Hawkins mentioned that Newcastle United are showing interest in Arsenal defender William Saliba who is set to return from his loan spell at Olympique Marseille next month. It has been stated that the Magpies are locked in a three-way battle with Napoli and Atletico Madrid in pursuit of the French centre-back.

Saliba’s Impressive Loan Spell In French Football

Saliba has enjoyed a decent loan spell in Marseille after managing to establish himself as a regular feature at the centre of their backline. The 21-year-old has made 51 appearances for the French side this season across all fronts.

The talented prospect has been a dominant figure on the defensive end of the field based on his average of 1.5 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 2.2 clearances per 90 minutes in Ligue 1. He has even been excellent when distributing the ball from the back as he has completed 93.1% of his attempted passes in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

Newcastle United (William Saliba)
France’s defender William Saliba passes the ball during the friendly football match between France and Ivory Coast at the velodrome stadium in Marseille, southern France, on March 25, 2022. (Photo by Nicolas TUCAT / AFP) (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP via Getty Images)
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Should Newcastle United Boss Eddie Howe Get Saliba On Board?

Standing at 1.92m, Saliba can be a dominant presence inside his penalty box and usually wins his fair share of aerial duels for his team. He is a good tackler of the ball and can read the danger quickly to secure the ball back on the defensive third of the pitch.

The French youngster doesn’t mind putting his foot through the ball when required and excels at playing his way out from inside his half.

At 21, the future is quite promising for the Bondy-born defensive ace as long as he continues to take strides towards improving himself with each year. Someone of Saliba’s skill set and potential will be an excellent signing for the Magpies during this summer transfer window. He will add plenty of bite and steel to Newcastle‘s backline.

At such a young age, Saliba has already established himself as a top performer in French football and has got what it takes to challenge for a regular spot at St. James’ Park next season. Therefore, Eddie Howe would be wise to engineer a move to get the French whizkid on board ahead of the new campaign.

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