Graeme Bailey has revealed that Eddie Howe is now personally pushing to sign Hugo Ekitike for Newcastle United.
The Lowdown: Progressing…
Newcastle’s January business has started in impressive fashion, securing deals for two experienced internationals in the shape of Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood, but there are still over two weeks left to make more additions.
Bailey reported earlier this week that the St. James’ Park faithful are in ‘advanced talks’ to sign Ekitike, and even with the arrival of Wood it seems like the Magpies will push ahead for a deal.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) consortium clearly feel the impact of the injury to Callum Wilson cannot be offset by just one arrival, and the latest update on the Reims forward sounds extremely promising.
The Latest: Howe wants him
As per Bailey, Howe is now pushing to sign Ekitike, and ideally wanted him to be signed before they play Watford at home in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon:
“Told that Eddie Howe is pushing Newcastle hard to get the deal for Reims highly-rated forward Hugo Ekitike done.
“Howe wants the teenager to be signed in time to feature against Watford on Saturday along with Chris Wood.”
The Verdict: Get it done
Ekitike would now not be registered in time to face the Hornets even if talks progress quickly, as the top flight game-week kicks off on Friday night when Brighton take on Crystal Palace.
That said, the North East club can still sign him in time for when they play Leeds United away from home next week, another big game at the bottom of the table.
With Wilson still out injured, Ekitike and Wood should be able to provide sufficient cover for him until he gets back, and the former is perhaps more of a signing for the long-term anyway.
Should Newcastle sign Ekitike?
High praise indeed for the 19-year-old, who seems to have the world at his feet.
Nonetheless, with Wood offering the immediate injection of top-flight experience, Ekitike could be signed with less risk and pressure, and he certainly could be an exciting player to watch for the Toon Army, having bagged eight goals in just ten Ligue 1 starts this term.
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