According to a recent report from The Daily Mirror, Newcastle United and Southampton are interested in a move for midfielder Andreas Samaris. The 29-year-old currently plays his football at Portuguese giants Benfica and has done so since 2014, although with his contract up at the end of the season, his future with the Primeira Liga heavyweights is far from certain.
And reports suggest that Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle and Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton are keen on the £4.5 million-rated midfield enforcer (as per Transfermarkt), but it’s a move to St James’ Park which the Greece international should favour as opposed to St Mary’s.
Ultimately, while there does appear to be some optimism around the Saints following the appointment of Hasenhuttl as the club’s new manager last week, the South Coast outfit do appear to be well-stocked in the central midfield department to suggest that first team football wouldn’t be a given for Samaris at St Mary’s.
The likes of Mario Lemina and Oriol Romeu have been crucial parts of the Southampton first team in the last 12 months or so, while Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is beginning to prove his worth after a testing few seasons at the start of his Saints career.
Add in Stuart Armstrong, who is also beginning to deliver the goods following his summer move from Celtic, as well as the hugely talented James Ward-Prowse, and Hasenhuttl has plenty of options in the centre of midfield – some more defensive-minded, some more attack-minded.
Thus, one wonders whether first team football would be forthcoming for 29-year-old Samaris were he to move to Southampton, yet the door seems slightly more ajar at Newcastle given the options at Benitez’s disposal.
The summer acquisition of Ki Sung-yueng has certainly gone some way to improving the central midfield ranks such have been his level of performances this season, while Mo Diame has been reborn in the last 12 months to become one of the club’s most important players.
And while Jonjo Shelvey is another who has the ability to make things happen for Newcastle in the middle of the park, Benitez doesn’t have too many others to call upon to fill the void in the middle of the park in an effective manner – Isaac Hayden reportedly wants to leave, and has done so since the summer.
Thus, further strength does appear needed in the central midfield ranks, which is why not only should Newcastle seek a move for Samaris, but the man himself must look at the greater opportunities at St James’ Park when considering his next career move.
So far this term, the 29-year-old has mustered just five minutes of league action for Benfica to underline his lowly position in the pecking order – he surely isn’t going to want to earn a move away to a club where a similar thing may happen.
And with Southampton well-stocked in the middle of the park, and Newcastle less so, the Greek star should forget about St Mary’s and instead opt for St James’ Park come the New Year.
Newcastle and Southampton fans… what do you think? Let us know!