Saturday, September 30, 2023

Newcastle United Set To Rival Man United For This Napoli Star: Is He Worth The Fight?

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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, renowned journalist Fabrizio Romano claimed that Newcastle United are set to rival Manchester United for Napoli star Kim Min-jae. It has been revealed that the Magpies are showing interest in recruiting the South Korean defender during this summer transfer window.

Min-jae’s Impressive Season In Italian Football

Min-jae has enjoyed a solid campaign at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona as he has put in a run of dominant performances for Napoli on the defensive third of the pitch. The 26-year-old has participated in 45 matches for the Italian side this season, netting two goals and picking up two assists on all fronts.

The South Korean sensation has given a good account of himself when defending inside his half based on his average of 1.6 tackles, 1.2 interceptions and 3.5 clearances per 90 minutes in Serie A. He has even been tidy with his ball distribution after completing 91% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).

His current contract at the Naples club is set to run out in the summer of 2025. However, Min-jae wants a move away from Napoli this summer which could open the door for Newcastle United to bring him to St. James’ Park in this off-season.

Kim Min-jae
UDINE, ITALY – MAY 04: Min-jae Kim of SSC Napoli in action during the Serie A match between Udinese Calcio and SSC Napoli at Dacia Arena on May 04, 2023 in Udine, Italy. (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

Newcastle United Set To Rival Manchester United For Min-jae: Is He Worth The Fight?

Min-jae is a solid tackler of the ball and can time his challenges well to secure possession back for his team on the defensive end of the field. He is usually quick to spot the danger and doesn’t mind putting his foot through the ball when the opposition are on the front foot.

The South Korea international can use his powerful 1.90m frame to win a few 50-50 aerial duels and is proficient at playing his way out from the back.

Min-jae will undoubtedly add more bite and steel to Eddie Howe’s defence. He is good enough to secure a regular starting spot at the Tyneside club next season.

Furthermore, the Napoli star could help the Magpies challenge for some major trophies over the next few years. Hence, he will be well worth the fight for Newcastle this summer as long as the player can make a smooth transition to life in Premier League football.

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