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Newcastle United: Magpies urged to “dip in the market” for “more attacking” star

Newcastle United: Magpies urged to "dip in the market" for "more attacking" star - Newcastle United News

Newcastle United have been urged to pursue an upgrade on left-back options Matt Targett and Dan Burn amidst links to Stuttgart’s Croatian full-back Borna Sosa.

The Lowdown: Targett’s lack of minutes

Since his move from Aston Villa was made permanent, Targett has failed to set Tyneside alight, but it’s important to note that this is more down to Eddie Howe’s tactical tweak which has seen the side push on to become Champions League contenders.

Targett is more of an attacking option, but with Howe looking to implement an asymmetrical full-back system, Trippier is the go-to attacking option, so naturally a more defensive full-back will be utilised at left-back to create a makeshift back-three in possession.

This is why Dan Burn seems to be preferred by Howe as a natural centre-back by trade, and acts as the enabler for his side to progress forward with numerical superiority.

Targett’s lack of minutes are more related to tactical approach over anything else.

The Latest: Newcastle urged to sign left-back

As per Football Insider, pundit Noel Whelan has claimed Newcastle United should move for a more attacking outlet at left-back, with the Magpies needing to mirror the talents that World Cup star Kieran Trippier brings.

Amidst links to Sosa, Whelan believes an improvement to the left-back position is a must.

Asked by Football Insider as to whether Newcastle should prioritise a left-back in January, Whelan said:

“Yeah, for sure.

“That’s one area of the pitch they’ll look at and want to make a bit stronger.

“They’ve got Trippier on the other side, who is a top-quality, international player.

“Dan Burn isn’t a natural option at left-back. Matt Targett has been consistent, but he hasn’t set the world alight.

“They need a box-to-box, more attacking full-back.

“If you’re Newcastle and sitting third in the league, you’ve got to always be in the market for someone like Sosa who can be an upgrade on Targett or Burn.”

The Verdict: A luxury, but not needed

It’s tough to say that Newcastle need a more attacking left-back when their defensive record is as pristine as it currently is.

The Magpies top the charts when it comes to fewest goals conceded, and this is largely down to their ability to cope with opposition counter attacks through positioning and superiority in the backline.

Burn plays a key role as a makeshift left centre-back in possession for the side, and it would be wrong to change this approach whilst they are currently on top.

That being said, as Howe and his side become more dominant, they may consider a 2-3-5 system in possession like Manchester City. This is where Sosa could shine.

But, as of right now, the Croatian, who is at the World Cup, is not needed.

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