Sampdoria are bracing themselves for a Newcastle United approach for defender Maya Yoshida, according to TuttoMercatoWeb.
The Japanese defender is probably best known on these shores for his eight-year stint at Southampton, during which he made 154 Premier League appearances and helped the Saints reach the final of the 2016/17 EFL Cup. The Athletic’s Carl Anka wrote that he had been a ‘superb’ servant at St Mary’s.
Now 33, the Japan international is a regular under Roberto D’Aversa at Sampdoria, having started 14 of their 18 Serie A matches so far this season.
Newcastle, who have comfortably the worst defensive record in the Premier League with 41 goals conceded, may well be in the market for a new centre-back in January. Indeed, they have already been linked with Burnley duo James Tarkowski and Ben Mee.
The report from TuttoMercatoWeb stated that Yoshida is one of many Sampdoria players who are in demand, with fellow centre-back Omar Colley, midfielder Morten Thorsby and right-back Bartosz Bereszinsky also attracting interest from prospective suitors.
The expectation is that Newcastle, and by extension their new transfer consultant Nick Hammond, will make an enquiry about signing Yoshida.
It’s perhaps surprising to see Yoshida’s emerge in the Newcastle transfer conversation. He will turn 34 at the start of next season, putting him well beyond the average footballer’s peak years.
He should come quite cheap, though – he’s valued at just £2.88m by Transfermarkt and is approaching the final six months of his contract at Sampdoria. Intriguingly, according to FBRef, he’s stylistically very similar to fellow Magpies target Tarkowski.
He’s still performing reasonably well, winning 60% of his duels overall and 70% of his aerial battles, and he ticks a key box for Eddie Howe in that he is proven in the English top flight. He could be a shrewd cut-price acquisition, not least given Newcastle’s awful defensive record this term.
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