The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s (KSA) Public Investment Fund (PIF) have ‘already moved’ to sign Real Valladolid gem Ivan Fresneda for Newcastle United.
The Lowdown: Spanish starlet
Fresneda is one of the upcoming talents in Spanish football, having made 17 appearances for Valladolid by the age of just 18, including seven games so far this season (Transfermarkt).
Lauded as having the ‘beastly‘ ability to maraud forward and put in crosses from right-back by journalist and La Liga presenter Juan Arroita, only four of his team-mates average more crosses per match than him in the Spanish top flight this term, while his 1.5 key passes per game is unmatched (WhoScored).
The Latest: PIF have ‘already moved’
According to Spanish news outlet AS, PIF have ‘already moved’ for Fresneda ahead of January, alongside Liverpool, Arsenal, Wolves, Leeds United, Everton, Brentford, Southampton and Fulham.
Juventus, AC Milan, Inter Milan and AS Roma are ‘already positioned’ for his signature, while Rennes, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona ‘also watch’ him.
Fresneda currently has a release clause of €30m (£25.8m), but that will rise to €45m (£38.7m) once he plays 22 matches for Valladolid.
The Verdict: Trippier successor?
As important as Kieran Trippier is to the team – he has been the standout performer for the Magpies in the Premier League per WhoScored – he is 32 years of age, and so they need to start thinking about eventual replacements.
At just 18, Fresneda has such a high potential, and he is already performing in one of Europe’s top five leagues, ranking in the 97th percentile for clearances, 95th for tackles and 89th for interceptions out of his positional peers in over the last year (FBRef).
If he signed in January, he could be an understudy to Trippier, and Eddie Howe could then eventually mould him into his new starting right-back over the next few years.
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