Latest Sports Web Stories News | Live Update Web Stories Football Howe could land big Willock upgrade at Newcastle by signing “phenomenal” £53m magician – opinion

Howe could land big Willock upgrade at Newcastle by signing “phenomenal” £53m magician – opinion

Howe could land big Willock upgrade at Newcastle by signing “phenomenal” £53m magician – opinion post thumbnail image

Newcastle United were held to another 0-0 draw in the Premier League on Saturday as they were forced to share the spoils with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

The Magpies have now produced goalless draws in three of their last four matches in the top-flight and scored once in those games – in the 1-0 win over Fulham.

Eddie Howe and Dan Ashworth could be left concerned by the side’s struggles in front of goal as the race for a place in the Champions League hots up, with the club currently sitting six points clear of Tottenham in fifth.

Newcastle would surely not want to end the season outside of the top four and bringing in attacking reinforcements could bolster their chances by improving their goalscoring output.

Earlier this month, Media Foot revealed that the Magpies are interested in a deal to sign Stade Rennes attacking midfielder Lovro Majer in January.

The Croatia international, who has been valued at €60m (£53m) by his current club, could come in as an upgrade on current central midfielder Joe Willock, who has struggled to provide consistent end product at the top end of the pitch.

Since the start of last season, the former Arsenal man, who has played in midfield and out on the wing, has racked up four goals and two assists, whilst failing to provide more than 0.9 key passes per outing, in 49 Premier League appearances for the Magpies.

Majer, meanwhile, has produced seven goals and ten assists in 45 Ligue 1 appearances in that time, whilst creating 1.6 chances per match last season.

The 25-year-old, who was hailed as “phenomenal” by talent scout Jacek Kulig last term, also ranks in the top 8% of players in his position in Europe’s top five leagues over the last 365 days for non-penalty goals, assists, shot-creating actions, and expected assists per 90, which essentially means that he has been one of the best midfielders in Europe at scoring goals from open play and creating opportunities for his teammates.

Willock, meanwhile, does not rank in the top 15% in any of these statistics, something that indicates that Majer would be a significant upgrade on the Englishman in terms of what he offers at the top end of the pitch.

The Rennes magician’s quality, in terms of both scoring and assisting goals, could be the difference between Newcastle drawing 0-0 and winning the match, whereas the current Toon midfielder has not proven that he can be a difference-maker on a regular basis.


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