As per the club’s official website, Premier League side Newcastle United completed a Deadline Day deal for defender Antonio Barreca. The 23-year-old had been playing his football in France with Monaco and had done so since leaving Torino back in 2018, although just seven Ligue 1 appearances this season had plunged his future at the Stade Louis II into doubt.
And it was Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle who officially got a deal done for the left back on the final day of the January window, with his arrival at St James’ Park potentially prompting fellow left back Paul Dummett to be even better down the Magpies left-hand-side.
Ultimately, 23-year-old Barreca was seriously struggling for regular game time at lowly Monaco prior to sealing a deal with Newcastle on Thursday, what with the defender only managing nine appearances in all competitions for the French outfit, only one of which had come since November.
And with no Ligue 1 appearances since their 2-2 draw with Dijon back on October 27, ten league matches ago, the writing was very much on the wall for the left back – but that shouldn’t detract from what a good signing he looks to be for Newcastle.
And that’s because the former Italy youth international looks set to bring much-needed dynamism and attacking endeavour to the Newcastle full back ranks, what with Barreca having occasionally played as a wing back and a winger in his time to underline his desire to get forward and help out in attack.
Quite simply, that hasn’t been seen down the Magpies left-hand-side for some time now, which is why his arrival is sure to be of interest to fellow left back Paul Dummett as, when he does indeed return from injury, he’ll have to be at his best to earn the left back berth.
The 27-year-old has certainly been a great servant to the North East giants ever since coming up through the ranks to earn his senior debut back in 2012, what with the defender having gone on to play 157 times for the Magpies, 101 of which have come in the Premier League.
And with 14 Premier League starts this term prior to injury at the start of the year, the Wales international had proven solid if unspectacular down the left-hand-side – a decent defender yes, but Dummett doesn’t really have that dynamism to get forward and launch attacks.
However, the 27-year-old will surely be well aware that he’ll need to be even better now Barreca has moved to St James’ Park, as failure to produce the goods regularly at left back would see Dummett lose his place in the starting eleven – it’s really that simple.
So why it may appear on the surface to be bad news for Dummett that the Italian has joined Newcastle, it could serve to get the very best out of the £3.15 million-rated star (as per Transfermarkt), thus giving Benitez much food for thought in terms of his number one left back.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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