Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Newcastle United Set To Rival Leeds For This South American World Cup Star: Howe Must Make The Call

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

If a report from Spanish outlet Fichajes is believed to be true, Newcastle United are considering a winter move for Real Valladolid winger Gonzalo Plata. But they are not alone in the race with Premier League rivals Leeds United also keeping close eyes on this Ecuador World Cup star.

The 22-year-old attacker progressed through the academy ranks of LDU Quito and Independiente del Valle back in his homeland before breaking into the latter’s senior setup. Sporting CP scouted him extensively during his time in Ecuador and the youngster eventually plied his trade at Portugal in January 2019.

Although it did not work out for him in Primeira Liga, last season’s loan stint at Pucela earned him accolades and recognition. Plata scored six and laid on five more in 30 Segunda División appearances and his relentless work rate down the wide helped Valladolid gain La Liga promotion under Pacheta’s tutelage.

So far he has featured 10 times in the top tier of Spanish football and also represented his nation in all three group-stage outings of the FIFA World Cup. His emergence has caught the eyes of top European clubs, but the White and Violets would only let him leave for a sizeable amount. They only made his loan permanent back in July, and therefore, should aim for a significant monetary profit beyond the €3m transfer fee splashed in summer.

Gonzalo Plata

Why Newcastle United Should Secure His Services

The reformed Newcastle United have scripted a resurgence under Eddie Howe. They are fighting for a Champions League berth alongside the league’s ‘Big Six’ and the upcoming months would be decisive for the Magpies. The Saudi-led takeover has boosted them financially, however, they must explore the market extensively for ‘value-for-money’ signings in order to abide by the Financial Fair Play regulations.

The left-footed forward has mostly been deployed from the right as an inverted winger. He is also comfortable from the left in a more traditional role and his addition would add depth as well as quality high up the pitch. Plata should be viewed as the understudy to Miguel Almiron who has been a revelation in the attacking third. Also, his versatility could see him operating from the left amid the uncertainties over Allan Saint-Maximin’s future.

The Frenchman does not seem to be in Howe’s plans and a potential winter exit would leave a void on the left-hand flank. Jacob Murphy is a workaholic but has certain limitations in his game and the signing of Plata would push him to create more menace in the opponents’ defence.

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