Southampton may be temporarily out of the drop zone but they have a lot of work left to do this season if they are to stay in the top flight in the upcoming campaign. But if The Saints are unable to retain their PL status, they might lose a number of their first team stars and one player already linked with an exit is Sofiane Boufal.
Boufal An Option For Newcastle United:
Rafa Benitez has done extremely well to keep Newcastle United close to the top half of the table this season but he is expected to make a number of additions to his squad this summer and TMW now claim that Sofiane Boufal is on the Spaniard’s radar for a move at the end of the season.
He is also linked with a move to Serie A and Ligue 1 but if Southampton go down, The Magpies have a decent chance of signing him on the cheap this summer. But is Boufal a decent option for Newcastle United?
Boufal And His Style Of Play:
Having moved to England from Lille back in 2016, Boufal is yet to establish himself in the first team at St Mary’s and has managed just 11 PL starts this season. He has two goals and two assists in those games and will be desperate for first-team game time, at his new club.
A versatile attacker, who can play on the flank or through the middle, Boufal is a gifted dribbler with decent skill and great vision, which allows him to not only create chances but also finish them off. He is also strong in the air in either box and is devastating when in range, over a dead ball. He can test the keeper from a long distance or can provide crosses that dismantle defences time and again.
At just 24, the France-born Moroccan international already has 40 league appearances in England and will be well settled come the start of the next season
But he is known to shy away from his defensive duties, which will be a problem for his new club but given regular time on the field, he can improve on his weaknesses and will definitely be a decent coup for Newcastle United.
Where Will He Fit In?
Rafa has used a 4-4-2 system regularly with Ayoze Perez taking up the support striker’s role for most of the season. Boufal can not only act as a backup to Perez in this role but can also play on either flank in the midfield, adding creativity to the side.
His lack of defensive awareness could be an issue while deploying him in that role but his creativity at the other end of the field will definitely be a huge advantage for Newcastle United.
His versatility is his biggest strength but Boufal is the kind of a player who can make things happen out of nowhere and is a player most teams would want to have on their side. He needs to find consistency next season but do you think St James’ Park is a place he will excel?
Stats Courtesy: Whoscored