Newcastle are in pole position to land Austrian defender Aleksandar Dragovic and are ready to spend £5 million on the Basel defender in the January transfer market. With little known about the defender, is £5 million good value? And if he is of Premier League standard?
With the highly rated defender attracting interest from teams such as Fiorentina and Stuggart, Newcastle are keen to bolster their squad with the 21 year-old defender. With 14 caps for his native Austria and measuring 6 ft 1 in, Dragovic seems on paper an ideal player for the Premiership.
However, when ever buying from abroad and especially from leagues that do not measure up to the quality and intensity of the Premiership, it is hard to gauge whether a player would be well suited to the Premier League. Much like the forgettable signing of Stefan Maierhofer from Rapid Vienna to Wolves, players you seem good on paper can sometimes struggle. Measuring at 6 ft 7 in and scoring 31 goals in 49, Maierhofer on paper seemed a good signing, only for him to be a disappointing signing and leaving 2 years after signing following loan spells.
Similar to Maierhofer, I question whether Dragovic could measure up to the standard of the Premier League. At the age of 21, he has a lot to learn as a player and moving could benefit his development. But then again, it could be detrimental to his progression as a player, as has been seen with many foreign players moving to England, such as Bruno Cheyrou and Alfonson Alves.
I would approach this signing with caution. Possibly not a player for the present but maybe for the future. As said, it is hard to gauge how good the player is until he is chucked into a fast flowing, high intensity Premier League match.