Newcastle fans in the Transfer Tavern are starting to get nervous over the lack of transfer activity so far in the summer window.
The Magpies ended the season in tenth, a respectable finish given the lack of funds at Rafael Benitez’s disposal. Owner Mike Ashley needs to back the Spaniard in the transfer market if the club are to build on last season’s finish. Our punters are desperate to see some new faces at St. James’ Park.
Mikel Merino and Martin Dubravka both penned permanent deals with the club after impressing on loan from Borussia Dortmund and Sparta Prague respectively. There has been little movement on the transfer front since, much to the annoyance of our resident Geordies. Benitez is also reportedly looking to offload Henri Saivet to free up some funds to strengthen his midfield.
One man he should be targeting is Celta Vigo midfielder – Stanislav Lobotka. After arriving from Norwegian side Nordsjaelland last summer, the Slovakian has become a key player for the Spanish side in the engine room. His market value has increased to £13.5m, according to Transfermarkt, as a result of his impressive performances.
The 23-year-old is a tenacious midfielder who excels in a box-to-box role. He is an excellent passer of the ball, completing 91% of his passes this season (WhoScored), the sixth highest in La Liga; more than Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets and Real Madrid’s Luka Modric. The Slovakian international is not the agilest of midfielders but his bulky frame would suggest adapting to the physicality of the Premier League would be no issue.
Making a move for Lobotka after one good season would be a risky move. However, it could be a gamble worth taking.
Newcastle fans, thoughts?