Newcastle United have yet to confirm if manager Rafa Benitez will extend his stay at the club but that hasn’t stopped the Magpies from pursuing various transfer targets ahead of the 2019-20 season. The Premier League side are reportedly interested in Udinese midfielder Seko Fofana, as per Calciomercato. The report states that Fofana could be bought from the Italian club for a fee of around €15 million.
But the Magpies will have to fend off interest from Sevilla and AC Milan to land the signature of the Ivory Coast international. The midfielder joined Udinese from Manchester City for a fee of £2.5 million and has gone on to become an important squad player for I Bianconeri in the last three seasons that he has been at the club.
The French-born midfielder played for Paris FC and Lorient as a schoolboy before moving over to England and Manchester City. He did not make his senior debut for City but was loaned out to Fulham and Bastia before moving permanently to Udinese in 2016.
The central midfielder played 32 matches in all competitions for Udinese in the 2018-19 season and ended the season with 2 goals and 4 assists.
He has played once for the Ivory Coast national team, making his sole appearance back in 2017.
A good move by Rafa?
Fofana is a central midfielder who likes to make driving runs from one box to the other, using his long legs and energy to good effect. The lanky Ivorian is good with his left and right foot and likes to take shots from outside the box. The midfielder often passes and moves further upfield with or without the ball, offering another option in attack for his team.
The 24-year-old plays quick through balls and passes to release the attackers, while also moving the ball forward himself with driving runs into the opposition box something which will help Newcastle break out of the shackles which they had imposed upon themselves due to lack of expressive options in midfield.
With reports linking Isaac Hayden, Sean Longstaff (though we expect him to stay) and Jonjo Shelvey with moves away from St James’ Park, as well as the fact that Mohamed Diamé will no longer be a Newcastle United player from the 1st of July, the Magpies will have to sign a few central midfielders ahead of the 2019-20 season. Fofana could be a useful player who can add legs to the Newcastle midfield, as well as a lot of energy in the middle of the park, and should be signed by Rafa Benitez and co.