Newcastle United are a serious force to reckon with under Rafa Benitez, as they have proven with their run since the turn of the year, but the manager is not totally convinced with the options at his disposal and is constantly on the lookout for players who can improve his side.
This has seen the Magpies linked with a number of exciting stars for a move this summer and the latest name doing the rounds is Southampton star, Ryan Bertrand.
Newcastle United In Race For Bertrand
With Southampton moving ever so close to relegation, they will lose quite a few of their first team stars this summer and The Daily Mail suggests that Bertrand is one player that will attract interests from a number of top clubs in the country.
Bertrand And His Record
The first choice left-back for his club and country at the moment, the 28-year old English international graduated from the academy at Chelsea and has spent time at seven different clubs before settling at The St Mary’s since 2015.
He has rarely missed a game for the club and has helped them in some of the most important games in recent times, He has five goals and 17 assists in 168 Premier League outings till date and is one of the most experienced players in his role at the moment in the country.
Reliable and calm at the back, Bertrand is a confident and strong full-back, who is as effective sitting behind and shutting-shop as he is when he finds space down his flank in the attacking third. He is more than a decent crosser but is good with build-up play and is usually produced with his movement on and off the ball.
His key passes and assists are on the higher side for a full-back and he is a definite upgrade on the likes of Javier Manquillo and Paul Dummett, the two first-team options at left-back for Rafa at the moment. At his price, he will be a huge coup for Newcastle United and could easily be a game changer.
Can Newcastle Actually Attract Him?
As much as they struggled at the start of the season, Newcastle United are now set to finish in the top half of the table and with a positive take-over in the summer and smart investment in the squad, they can definitely fight for a place in Europe next season.
But Rafa needs to find players who can walk into the first team and Bertrand fits the bill well. The 28-year old will definitely be the manager’s first choice and could be a part of something really special at the club.
Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United will be a big step, probably in the right direction but he will be given the freedom like he was at Southampton. That, along with the game time he will certainly get are the only things that can help Rafa land, Bertrand. But do you think he can get it done?