Rafa Benitez has apparently set his sights on Ghana midfielder Afriyie Acquah and a potential transfer could be on the cards as the Magpies want to announce their return to the Premier League in style.
The Torino midfielder had been on the radar of Newcastle for a quite some time now as Rafa looks forward to re-galvanise his squad for more than just Premier League survival in the upcoming season.
The 25-year old is presently tied to his Italian employers till 2019 but the lure of playing in the Premier League could sway the Ghana International from Torino this summer.
The player had endured somewhat of a mixed season with Torino in the last campaign, remaining mostly on the bench but there are divided opinions regarding the Ghana International’s potential among the experts.
Before discussing any further let’s look at the individual stats and see what he could bring to St. James’ Park.
The player has made only 13 first team starts for the Smoggies in his total of 22 appearances for the club, providing them with only 2 goals.
The Serie A man’s passing abilities are quite impressive, having maintained a success rate of 83.4%. Predominantly a defensive minded midfielder managed to provide 7 key passes last term as well.
Acquah has maintained a tackle success rate of 69.23% and has also made a healthy 28 interceptions for the club despite being handed a rather short stint in the past season. (Stats via WhoScored)
What’ll he offer the Club?
Rafa’s recent transfer activities and ambitions point to the fact that the shrewd Spaniard has his eyes set on returning St. James’ Park back to its good old glory days. Quite natural that he cannot achieve all of it in one season and he is looking towards gradual development and growth in his squad.
Acquah might not be top quality for the Magpies but his defensive skills and passing ability are the utmost qualities that the Magpies could very well need in the upcoming season. The 25-year old has good composure and calmness and would indeed bolster the Newcastle midfield.
Rafa, in his time at Liverpool, had a few hit and miss signings in the midfield. While the likes of Alonso and Mascherano did pretty well, there were quite a few who failed to perform. The likes of Momo Sissoko and Alberto Aquilani were at times too injury prone.
Newcastle won’t be able to spend big money, so they’ll have to rely on shrewd transfers which Benitez is capable of pulling off every now and then, so there’s no reason to be pessimistic about Acquah who might turn out to be a more than decent player.