Ashworth eyeing Newcastle swoop for “dominant” £18m gem, he could be Howe’s own Ramos – opinion
An update has emerged on Newcastle United and their plans to bolster their squad at the end of the season…
What’s the latest on Tiago Djalo to Newcastle?
According to InterLive, the Magpies are the team most interested in rivalling Italian giants Inter to the signing of Lille central defender Tiago Djalo.
The report claims that the Premier League side are the most ‘fearsome’ opposition for the Serie A outfit, with Dan Ashworth eyeing up a swoop to sign the 22-year-old in the summer transfer window, in the race to land his signature.
It is stated that Lille are looking for a fee of up to €20m (£18m) for the French defender and that Newcastle could be willing to pay it, whilst Inter are unable to reach that number despite agreeing on terms with the player.
Djalo could be Eddie Howe’s own Sergio Ramos
Ligue 1 is host to a number of exceptional central defenders and former Real Madrid and Spain star Sergio Ramos, currently playing for Paris Saint-Germain, is one of them.
The 36-year-old, who has won four Champions League trophies and been capped 180 times by his country, is a serial winner and a vastly-experienced player in European football.
Ashworth could now land head coach Eddie Howe his own version of the PSG enforcer by securing a deal to sign Djalo from Lille ahead of the 2023/24 campaign.
Like Ramos, the Frenchman is a right-footed centre-back who can also play as a right-back if needed, which highlights his versatility and adaptability.
Alongside their positional flexibility, FBref lists Djalo as one of the most similar players to the Spaniard based on their statistics over the last 365 days.
Both players rank in the top 7% among players in their position for pass completion percentage per 90 in Europe’s top five leagues and European competitions in that time, which shows that they are incredibly efficient with the ball at their feet.
Djalo (0.31) and Ramos (0.35) also complete a similar number of take-ons per 90 and this shows that they are defenders who like to bring the ball out from the back, which occasionally includes needing to dribble past a forward to open up space.
The Lille star, who was once lauded as “dominant” by talent scout Jacek Kulig, has made 5.29 tackles, interceptions, and clearances per 90 over the last 365 days and the PSG man’s tally of 5.12 suggests that they are alike in their defensive actions for their respective sides.
Therefore, Djalo, who has averaged a Sofascore rating of 6.95 in Ligue 1 this season, could be Howe’s own version of Ramos due to the quality of his passing and play out from the back along with his ability to cut out and clear opposition attacks.