Rafa Benitez helped Newcastle United to stay in the Premier League last season by completing two risky January deals which ultimately paid off.
The arrivals of both Kenedy and Martin Dubravka brought two relatively unknown entities to St James’ Park last season but their impact was telling.
Dubravka solved Newcastle’s problems between the sticks with a series of match-winning performances and Kenedy injected flair which had previously eluded the attacking players at Benitez’s disposal.
With the January window now open for business once again it’s likely that the Spaniard will be hoping to conclude deals as effective as those for Kenedy and Dubravka, and a recent report from Italian media outlet Calcio Mercato suggests he is lining up another deal which could go either way.
Indeed, the report claims that Newcastle are set to lodge a bid for AC Milan’s Diego Laxalt in the coming days, despite the fact the Uruguayan enjoys a healthy relationship with Gennaro Gattuso.
AC Milan signed Laxalt for a fee of £12.6 million in the summer transfer window but the versatile winger has struggled to make an impact since arriving at the San Siro.
He has made just 8 starts in all-competitions for the club and he is yet to register a single goal or an assist, and his failure to make a telling impact in the final-third suggests he is lacking the firepower needed for Newcastle to justify a move.
A return of 8 goals and 12 assists from 117 appearances during his time with Genoa hardly enhances his case, so there is no question that Benitez would be taking a huge chance by sanctioning a deal this month.
Adding further creativity to Newcastle’s ranks could make all the difference in their fight for survival but there is plenty of reason to suggest that a deal for Laxalt is likely to backfire.
Newcastle fans – thoughts? Let us know below!
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