Emil Krafth has offered an honest assessment of his start to life at Newcastle United, and revealed that he is happy with his impact in black and white so far, as quoted by The Northern Echo.
The Sweden right-back joined the Magpies from SC Amiens in the summer as part of a £5m deal, and has started in each of his new side’s fixtures bar the opening day defeat at home to Arsenal.
Krafth’s debut for Newcastle away to Norwich City was far from perfect in the eyes of some Magpies supporters (via HITC), with fans of the Toon critical of his involvement in the Canaries’ goals and suggesting their summer signing appeared out of his depth up against the Championship title-holders.
Plaudits were on offer by certain media outlets following the subsequent victory over Tottenham Hotspur, with the Chronicle noting that the 25-year-old grew into the game more as things proceeded and offered some important interceptions and clearances to prevent Spurs from finding the back of the net.
The Northern Echo also lauded Krafth for his work in helping to quell Mauricio Pochettino’s side and seamlessly slotting into life in England, which the right-back feels has been aided by the similarities shared between Ligue 1 and the Premier League.
“It’s been good so far,” he said. “I think, compared to the French league, it’s similar. It’s a physical league here in England. I knew that was coming. I’m very happy to be here, and I’m looking forward to playing a lot more games.
“It’s different when you come to England compared to the other countries, as you know the language,” Krafth went on to add. “It can take months to get to know the language somewhere else. Here, you come in and you already know the language. It’s easier for you to settle into the team and talk to everybody.”
If Krafth is able to replicate his Tottenham Hotspur display more often than his involvement in Norwich’s goals, then Newcastle may have found a suitable rival for DeAndre Yedlin at St. James’ Park.
Krafth is yet to attempt a dribble in the Premier League or complete a cross, according to data collected by WhoScored, whereas Yedlin delivered 0.7 accurate crosses per 90 minutes in the league last season.
Acquiring a right-back who could challenge the currently injured American was one of Rafa Benitez’s main priorities heading into the summer (Chronicle), and one that the North East outfit fulfilled, despite the Spaniard’s eventual departure and having been willing to listen to offers for Javier Manquillo in the summer.
Facing Liverpool after the international break will certainly test what Krafth is capable of, although Yedlin’s superior ability on the front foot may be enough to bend Steve Bruce’s arm once the American is passed fit to play.
Newcastle fans, who would your preferred right-back be if all options were available? Let us know in the comments below…
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