Newcastle United: Magpies ‘frontrunners’ to sign Ivan Fresneda
Newcastle United are reportedly one of the ‘frontrunners’ to sign Real Valladolid right-back Ivan Fresneda this summer.
The Lowdown: January interest
Newcastle reportedly held an interest in signing Fresneda in the January transfer window, but a move never materialised in the end.
They ended up signing right-back Harrison Ashby from West Ham United instead, and so it will be interesting to see what that area of the pitch will look like come next season, with Kieran Trippier, Emil Krafth and Javier Manquillo also on the books at St. James’ Park.
The Latest: Newcastle ‘frontrunners’
Taking to Twitter, journalist Simon Collings says that the North East club are one of four ‘frontrunners’ to sign Fresneda this summer, along with Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and Juventus:
“Lots of clubs around Europe interested in Ivan Fresneda. Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus and Newcastle viewed as four frontrunners. Player will decide future in summer.”
Expanding in his corresponding article for The Evening Standard, Collings adds that the 18-year-old has a £26.5m release clause in his contract, and is thought of as ‘one of the most promising players in Europe’.
The Verdict: Fresneda in, two out?
After signing Ashby, the Tynesiders now have four right-backs in their squad, and so at least two of them would likely have to make way to make room for Fresneda.
They would likely be Krafth and Manquillo, who have of course played significantly fewer games than Trippier.
Fresneda, like 21-year-old Ashby, is a player with a lot of potential, and has already played 14 senior matches for Valladolid as a teenager.
He is also rated very highly, with journalist and La Liga presenter Juan Arroita hailing him for his ‘beastly‘ ability to maraud forward and put in dangerous crosses, while Matt Clark of La Liga Lowdown says that he has been a ‘revelation’ in the Spanish top flight, and is a ‘remarkably complete’ full-back for his age.
This is evidenced by his outstanding defensive capabilities as well, ranking in the 98th percentile for tackles, as well as 95th for clearances and 90th for interceptions per game of all full-backs in Europe’s top five leagues over the past year (FBRef).
Nonetheless, if the Magpies can shift both Krafth and Manquillo out of the door, then Fresneda would be an exciting replacement to bring in.