The lowdown: Serial winner
Signed from RCD Mallorca in 2016 with a career on the ascendancy and suggestions of Ballon d’Or honours in the pipeline, Asensio spent the 2015/16 season on loan at Espanyol before becoming a mainstay in the plans in the Spanish capital.
The 26-year-old has since amassed 235 appearances for Los Blancos and furnished a trophy cabinet with three UEFA Champions Leagues, three FIFA Club World Cups, two La Liga titles and two UEFA Super Cup successes.
Now in the final 12 months of a deal at the Bernabeu, Asensio has seemingly reached a contract impasse in Spain and the Magpies could be the benefactors…
The latest: Newcastle ‘want’ Asensio
As per AS, transcribed by SW, Newcastle ‘want’ to sign the Spain international during the ongoing transfer window. It’s claimed that the North East club ‘bet on Asensio’ who can ‘speed up the process’ of making a switch due to currently having no deal on the table in Spain.
The report also states that despite interest from elsewhere, including from the heavily indexed Liverpool, it is Newcastle who ‘push the most’ to bring the man hailed as ‘extraordinary’ by Real Madrid Director Emilio Butragueno to the Premier League.
The verdict: Marquee signing
Despite never truly reaching the predicted pinnacle of a career with such high aspirations placed upon it, in part down to persistent injury issues, Asensio – who shares similar stylistic traits with such renowned names as Son Heung-min, Sadio Mane and Riyad Mahrez (Fbref) – remains a top-quality performer with vast experience at the elite level both domestically and internationally.
Seemingly back to full fitness, last season the cultured Spaniard scored 12 times and provided two assists in 42 appearances across all competitions, earning an impressive 7.07 Sofascore rating whilst hitting the target with 1.1 shots, making 1.0 key pass and completing 22.7 accurate passes on average per league outing.
Valued at £36million (Transfermarkt), signing the versatile star who can play on either wing, in central midfield areas and as an attack-minded midfielder for a reported reduced asking price between €25m-30million (£21-25million) would be a sensational coup for Newcastle and Eddie Howe as well as a more than adequate statement move from new owners PIF.
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