Newcastle United

Rafa Benitez wants a left back, and Oleksandr Zinchenko is the one Lee Charnley must sign in January

Rafa Benitez wants a left back, and Oleksandr Zinchenko is the one Lee Charnley must sign in January

According to a recent report from The Newcastle Chronicle, Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez is eyeing up ‘an offensive-minded left-back’ in the January transfer window. The Magpies currently have stalwart Paul Dummett turning out in that position most weeks given his consistently strong efforts in that area of the pitch, although he doesn’t carry a particularly big threat going forward.

And reports suggest that Benitez is seeking a left back that is able to mix the defensive aspect of the game with the ability to get forward and launch attacks, and he and managing director Lee Charnley should look no further than Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko as the man for the job.

The Breakdown

Ultimately, it was clear that Benitez got every ounce out of that Newcastle squad last season in their run to tenth place in the Premier League table, which was a particularly great effort given they only won promotion from the Championship the season before, and spent very little money improving the squad.

Yet it’s plainly obvious that more additions are needed in certain areas of the squad to take the club forward once again this season, with the full back department perhaps the clearest area, alongside the striking ranks, in need of improvement.

That’s because, while there is little doubting that Dummett is a solid and reliable performer at left back, he simply doesn’t have the dynamism to get forward and help out in attack, which is becoming more and more a requirement of the modern-day full back – City’s Zinchenko has that in abundance though.

The Ukraine international made the move to the Etihad Stadium back in 2016 but has unsurprisingly found game time hard to come by under Pep Guardiola, mustering just 22 senior appearances for the Citizens in the last few years, eight of which have come this season.

And while he moved to the North West outfit as a midfielder back in 2016, he has since become a hugely accomplished left back given his regular need to fill in for injury-prone Benjamin Mendy in that area of the field, doing so again in their Carabao Cup success over Leicester City earlier this week.

And while he may have only recorded one assist during his time at City, there is little doubting that he loves to get forward and help out in attack, but he also has the defensive discipline and capabilities to fulfil his duties in his own final third as well – clearly, he’d be quite the upgrade on Dummett.

Add in the fact that he can also play in the centre of midfield, and that he is only 22 and thus still has many improvements to make over the coming years, and he’d be an ideal addition to Benitez’s squad as the Spaniard seeks to add the necessary quality to take the club up the division.

Thus, with the Newcastle boss reportedly eyeing a more attack-minded left back in January, managing director Charnley must grant him his wish by luring City’s Zinchenko to St James’ Park, thus equipping Benitez with the left back he so desperately needs.

Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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