Newcastle United should forget £60m ex-Leeds United man and chase these bargain options instead
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Will Newcastle United spend a lot of money this summer? Well, I’m no mystic, and wildly incorrect claims are the swords on which journalistic careers often trip and fall, but yes, yes they will.
The Magpies have already been linked with a cavalcade of prospective recruits in all kinds of positions, but one that has caught the eye in recent days is a potential swoop for Raphinha. The former Leeds United winger has only been with Barcelona for a season, but the cash-strapped Catalan giants are already said to be considering his sale to alleviate some of their financial woes.
According to Gerard Romero, Newcastle have already lodged a verbal bid of around £60 million for the wide man, but whether that will be enough to tempt Barca into a sale remains to be seen. If it isn’t, and if that price tag keeps inflating, then we could very well reach a point at which the Magpies walk away, and in that event, they’ll need some viable alternatives.
But fear not, for we have them covered. Here are four players who Newcastle could sign instead of the ex-Leeds United star, and potentially at a fraction of the price...
When a player is reportedly being lined up by Paris Saint-Germain as a potential replacement for Lionel Messi, you can safely assume that they might have a bit in their locker. Olise has dazzled for Crystal Palace in recent times, and his signature brand of elegant trickery has already turned him into one of the most hotly-tipped young talents in the Premier League.
At just 21 years of age, he has established himself as an inimitable presence for the Eagles, and with 10 assists in 35 top flight outings this term, he has shown himself to have plenty of end product too. Able to operate through the middle as well, the France U21 international is intelligent, versatile, and only going to get better.
Of course, this wouldn’t necessarily be an easy deal to wrap up. For one thing, there is that aforementioned from PSG, and his contract at Selhurst Park is next due to expire until 2026, but the longer that somebody waits before pulling the trigger on him, the more expensive he will become. Strike now, or regret it.
Few players have taken the Premier League by storm this season like Mitoma has. The Brighton winger, with his literal degree in dribbling, has catapulted himself from relative unknown to one of the most fearsome ball-carriers in the top flight over the past few months. His contributions to Albion’s push for European football have been vital, and a running tally of 17 goal involvements across all competitions speaks for itself.
In some respects, Mitoma would not be a like-for-like alternative to Raphinha; whereas the Brazilian usually plays from the right, the Brighton man tends to start out on the left. Similarly, as with Olise, it is difficult to say exactly what kind of monetary value the Seagulls would place on him at this precise moment in time.
But there is no denying that Mitoma is a special player with many of attributes that the Magpies will be looking for, and you get the distinct impression that if they don’t move for him, it is only a matter of time before another of the Premier League’s elite clubs will.
If we’re talking bargains, they don’t come much bigger than signing a three-time Champions League winner on a Bosman. Asensio is out of contract with Real Madrid at the end of the season, and the expectation is that he will leave the club that he spent the vast majority of his senior career with, sparking plenty of speculation over where he might next end up.
Premier League clubs have been named, with Newcastle themselves touted as potential suitors towards the end of last year, and the likelihood is that whoever lands the 27-year-old will be pulling off a real coup. A 35-cap Spain international with more continental experience than you can shake a proverbial stick at, Asensio has contributed 20 goal involvements in 47 matches this season, including 15 in 28 La Liga outings.
Players of his ilk do not become available too often, and it is even rarer that they cost nothing. He is absolutely an option that should be considered.
Maybe a little left-field, this one. The man who was drafted in to replace Raphinha at Leeds United, Sinisterra has endured a fairly injury-hit season at Elland Road. Despite his absences, however, he has still notched eight goals in 22 appearances, and has shown enough creative initiative to suggest that there is a serious player in there somewhere.
Capable of popping up on either flank, and still only 23 years of age, the Colombian’s future will surely depend on whether or not Leeds can beat the drop this term. If they do, then he won’t be going anywhere. But if they don’t, then you would imagine that there will be a fair few clubs sniffing around for a cut-price deal. Newcastle could do far worse than taking a punt on him.