Liam Kennedy has revealed that Newcastle United are now working behind the scenes on a potential plot to sign Axel Witsel.
The Lowdown: Glittering career
At 32 years of age, Witsel has had a glittering footballing career, winning many major trophies with the likes of Zenit St. Petersburg and his current club Borussia Dortmund (Transfermarkt).
Should Newcastle sign Witsel?
He has also grown up as part of Belgium’s golden generation alongside the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard, and he even won the national team’s Footballer of the Year award in 2008 – he has an incredible 120 senior caps for his country, scoring 11 goals (Transfermarkt).
Given that Graeme Jones was assistant manager to Roberto Martinez at Belgium, Witsel is a player who he knows well, and so it will be interesting to see if he has any particular influence on his potential move to St. James’ Park.
The Latest: Witsel discussed
Writing in his latest piece for Newcastle World, Magpies journalist Kennedy has revealed that the North East club are now working to strengthen the squad ‘behind the scenes’, and Witsel is a player who has been discussed.
They are understood to be ‘weighing up a move’ for the central midfield player in the January transfer window, and he could be made available by Dortmund.
The Verdict: Valuable experience
Having played at the highest level throughout his career, Witsel would provide the squad with some valuable experience, and a winning mentality that will be needed if they are to avoid relegation from the Premier League down to the Championship.
He can still offer a lot on the pitch as well, as he is actually averaging more interceptions, clearances and passes at a higher success rate than Isaac Hayden, Jonjo Shelvey and Sean Longstaff in their respective domestic leagues so far this season (WhoScored).
With a six-foot-one frame, Witsel should be able to cope with the physical demands of the top flight, and would also offer the Tyneside outfit a unique threat in both boxes.
Nonetheless, given his age and the fact that he is seemingly available, he should come relatively cheap, and so would be a smart buy for Eddie Howe’s team.
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience