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23/1/2023 | 09:15pm

The tip of the January switch window is now in sight though Newcastle United have but to noticeably strengthen their ranks to date, with the one addition having been that of Australian teenager, Garang Kuol.

After a busy but efficient spending spree a yr in the past – through which the likes of Dan Burn, Kieran Trippier and Bruno Guimaraes arrived by the door – it has confirmed far quieter for Magpies boss Eddie Howe and co this time round.

The suggestion is, nonetheless, that the previous Bournemouth supervisor is eager to bolster his squad earlier than the deadline so as support within the push for Champions League qualification, with attacking recruits seemingly excessive on the precedence checklist.

In keeping with latest stories, a kind of targets might properly be that of Chelsea playmaker, Hakim Ziyech, having beforehand been linked with the 29-year-old over the summer season.

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The idea is that the Morocco worldwide is one a handful of gamers at Stamford Bridge who’ve been informed they’ll transfer this month, with the Blues already well-stocked in assault after bringing within the likes of Joao Felix, Noni Madueke and Mykhaylo Mudryk in latest weeks.

Switch insider Dean Jones – chatting with GIVEMESPORT – has offered his verdict on a possible transfer to St James’ Park for the previous Ajax man, with the revered journalist stating:

“You possibly can see that he doesn’t actually match into what’s occurring at Chelsea proper now and Newcastle looks as if a great short-term match for making an attempt to cement their Champions League standing.”

Though the 50-cap gem has endured a troublesome spell in England thus far – with simply 14 objectives and 11 assists in 98 video games in all competitions – he had beforehand shone throughout his time within the Netherlands, with a staggering haul of 130 purpose involvements in simply 165 video games throughout all fronts.

Even regardless of his underwhelming type within the Premier League, the £100k-per-week “wizard” – as lauded by journalist Nizaar Kinsella – has nonetheless proven flashes of his high quality, with that evidenced by his statistical and stylistic likeness to Manchester United talisman, Bruno Fernandes, as per FBref.

That comparability between the 2 attacking midfield abilities could be illustrated by their means to supply a inventive spark within the facet, with Ziyech rating within the high 10% for progressive passes amongst his European friends, whereas Fernandes ranks within the high 7% in that regard.

Not simply threats in an attacking sense, the pair are additionally spectacular figures attributable to their relentless work ethic, with the Blues maestro rating within the high 12% for each clearances and tackles, whereas his United counterpart ranks within the high 15% and the highest 2% for these two metrics, respectively.

The hope could be that Ziyech can emulate Fernandes’ influence in England and hit the bottom working had been he to signal this month, with the latter man having been one thing of a “revelation” after becoming a member of the membership in January 2020, as per Statman Dave.

The previous Sporting Lisbon ace ended that 2019/20 marketing campaign with eight objectives and 7 assists in simply 14 league video games to rapidly cement himself because the Purple Devils’ main man, with that standing having remained intact since then because the 28-year-old now boasts 100 purpose involvements in solely 154 video games for the membership thus far.

To suppose that Newcastle might doubtlessly land their reply to the Portugal worldwide within the type of Ziyech is a very intriguing prospect for Howe and co, with such a signing seemingly set to assist take the membership to even better heights within the coming months and years.



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