Mo Diame has been a mainstay at the heart of Newcastle’s midfield this season but at 31-years-of-age it’s about time Rafa Benitez turned his attention towards securing the services of a genuine upgrade.
Diame is one of those inconsistent players who really boggles the mind; one week the Magpies faithful will hail his performance and proceed to label Paul Pogba a poor man’s Diame – or something on those lines – and the next they will lambaste his lethargy and inability to complete fundamental tasks in midfield.
It’s a frustrating problem which serves to undermine the careers of plenty of talented footballers, and Diame seems to suffer from the inconsistency bug. The Senegal international has managed to add greater consistency to his game since the beginning of last season, but he is still prone to a glaring error or a really poor individual performance.
Wherever you stand on Diame it seems obvious that he is unlikely to stay at St James’ Park beyond the season if there is indeed a takeover at the club, mostly as a result of his age and relative ability.
Well, regardless of whether there will be a takeover at Newcastle, it appears that Rafa Benitez has already identified a player to take Diame’s place in midfield, namely Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Indeed, according to a recent report from Liga Financial, Benitez will do everything he can to add Chelsea’s prodigy to his ranks in January, and a deal could be made possible by his £30 million release clause.
The 22-year-old midfielder has been on the cusp of becoming a top Premier League player since he impressed on loan at Crystal Palace last season, but the competition for places at Chelsea, particularly since the arrivals of Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho, have forced him to play a bit-part role this season.
He is unlikely to be anything other than incredibly frustrated with how the season is playing out, and a mid-season transfer may well be in his best interests.
Considering the enormity of Loftus-Cheeks’ potential £30 million actually represents an incredibly attractive price-tag, and if Newcastle have the funds available to trigger his release clause they would be foolish not to pay up in January.
Offering genuine technical quality, huge scope for improvement and forward-thinking dynamism, which is vastly superior to that provided by Diame’s engine in midfield, Loftus-Cheek would be a dream upgrade for Newcastle’s ageing midfield lynchpin.
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