Real Valladolid have only conceded two more goals than league leaders Barcelona so far this season, with the main man to thank for that statistic being defensive wonderkid Mohammed Salisu, but is it worth the effort to bring him to Tyneside?
Do Newcastle really need another defender?
According to Pucela Fichajes, a host of top clubs, including Newcastle United, are tracking the 20-year-old with a view to bringing him to the Premier League – but Valladolid have put a £10 million release clause in the way of any interest.
Salisu’s ceiling is clearly high, with the youngster having contributed immensely to Valladolid’s solidarity this season, averaging 4.8 clearances and 1.2 tackles per game whilst also amassing an 82.8% pass success rate in La Liga, as per WhoScored.
One to watch for the future, that may be true, but is he really worth the effort at this point in time? The answer, at least from Newcastle’s perspective, should be a resounding no.
The last position Steve Bruce’s side need any cover in is their resolute backline – with unlikely stars Ciaran Clark and Federico Fernandez shining in their last two outings for the club and even getting on the scoresheet for Newcastle’s first back-to-back wins this season.
Meanwhile, that’s not even taking into account Jamaal Lascelles’ recent absence, with the Englishman having been ruled out until after the New Year, but once he returns, there will be no room for another addition when you consider the likes of Paul Dummett and Fabian Schar are also viable options.
Of course, one or two injuries could change the narrative entirely, but it’s also highly unlikely the Magpies will be short on defensive cover by January – with it definitely not being a high enough priority to shell out £10m.
From the view of the St. James’ Park board of directors, this could be a fruitless endeavour, with more focus seemingly on the Magpies’ miss-firing forward line.
Joelinton, Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron – for all their effort – have a combined total of one goal since the start of the new season, perhaps highlighting the club’s need to invest in that department.
Next summer, when Newcastle have potentially avoided the drop and are looking at options, Salisu could be a sensible acquisition, but at this point in time, the limitations far outweigh the potential benefits.
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