Newcastle United are eyeing a January swoop for out-of-favour Barcelona centre-back Clement Lenglet.
The northeast Premier League outfit confirmed last week the completion of the £300m takeover by a Saudi-led consortium, thereby, ending Mike Ashley’s infamous 14-year ownership of the club. Despite taking training on Tuesday, manager Steve Bruce is understood to be close to losing his job at Newcastle United after a dismal start to the new top-flight season.
While the Newcastle board continues to evaluate the managerial options to replace Steve Bruce, there’s been no shortage of players linked with a move to St James’ Park following the arrival of new owners. One of those is Barcelona’s Clement Lenglet.
Lenglet, 26, has been reduced to a bench role at Barcelona this season despite Ronald Koeman frequently playing with a back-three system. The French centre-back has fallen down the pecking order following the summer arrival of Eric Garcia on a free transfer from Manchester City, thus, starting just one of the Catalan club’s nine games to date.
The 26-year-old, who made 48 appearances last term, was linked with a move to AS Roma in the summer but decided to stay put at Barcelona and fight for his place. Observing the defender’s situation under Koeman this term, Newcastle have already reached out to Barcelona to ask about the likelihood of signing Lenglet when the transfer window reopens in January.
Newcastle United desperately need defensive reinforcements
Newcastle United are one of the four clubs without a win in the Premier League and rightly find themselves in the relegation zone. They would surely need to improve and start collecting points if they are to beat the drop.
The Toon Army can certainly do with some fresh faces in January to improve a few areas of their squad. Newcastle’s defending has been shocking so far, with Bruce’s side conceding 16 goals in seven games. None of the players at the back have performed as per their standards, thus, making the signing of a defender who can come in at St James’ Park and make an immediate impact very important.
Is Clement Lenglet the right fit for the Toon Army?
Clement Lenglet, who boasts of close to 300 appearances for Nancy, Sevilla and Barcelona, as well as a wealth of European experience under his belt, would be a huge asset to any Premier League side battling relegation this term.
Even though he’s suffered a dramatic fall in grace in the last 12-15 months, the Frenchman certainly has the CV to come through St James’ Park’s door as an upgrade on the club’s existing centre-back options. He is a decent ball-playing defender who is competent in the air and will not get easily beaten for pace. Due to him being left-footed, the 26-year-old would be a straight upgrade on Ciaran Clark and offer much more defensive stability to Newcastle.
Lenglet’s defensive acumen and vast experience would go a long way towards improving the manager’s overall squad dynamics. Given he is out of favour and seeking an exit, Barcelona are likely to not stand in the France international’s way. In fact, the Spanish club’s financial difficulties could see them offloading the player permanently in the winter transfer window.
Come what may, Newcastle must test Barcelona’s resolve with a cheeky bid for Lenglet when the transfer window reopens.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.