Newcastle can land “upgrade” with Sosa move

Newcastle United have been closely linked with Stuttgart defender, Borna Sosa, in recent times, with the highly-rated gem potentially set to strengthen the Magpies’ full-back options.

What’s the word?

The Croatia international – who is currently representing his country at the World Cup in Qatar – has seemingly been a long-term target for the Tynesiders, with reports in the summer having suggested that he was on Eddie Howe’s radar.

This has been followed by a recent report from German outlet Bild which has claimed that the northeast side – as well as Serie A duo Inter Milan and Atalanta – are interested in signing the 24-year-old, with the player set to command a fee of around £17m.

Journalist Pete O’Rourke – in an interview with Football FanCast – has now provided his thoughts on that potential move to bring the nine-cap starlet to St James’ Park, suggesting that he could well prove to be an improvement on the Premier League side’s current options.

Asked whether the Zagreb-born ace would be an ‘upgrade’ on both Matt Targett and Dan Burn, the transfer insider stated: “Yeah, I think you would have to say he would be an upgrade.

“He’s an out-and-out left-back. Dan Burn’s done a brilliant job that has to be said for Newcastle at left-back this season,  he’s been part of that really mean Newcastle defence. So it’d be harsh on him if they were to bring in a new left-back”

Big ‘upgrade’

As O’Rourke alluded to, it may well be somewhat ‘harsh’ to dislodge the aforementioned Burn – who has helped form the meanest defence in the league this season after shipping only 11 goals – although Sosa’s quality end product should well make a move a no brainer.

The “outstanding” talent – as described by Stuttgart coach Pellegrino Matarazzo – has proven a truly lethal asset from his wide berth, having produced 31 assists in just 96 games during his time in Germany thus far, including a stunning haul of eight assists in just 11 games this season.

A player who is simply a “weapon” due to his David Beckham-esque delivery, in the words of Sven Mislintat, the 6 foot 2 ace also offers real attacking intent from his full-back or wing-back, as he ranks in the top 10% for progressive passes and in the top 12% for dribbles completed among those in his position in Europe.

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Burn, by contrast, has chipped in with just one goal involvement since his arrival from Brighton and Hove Albion back in January, with the towering defender also ranking in just the bottom 23% for progressive passes and only the bottom 6% for dribbles completed, having provided a less glamorous, more robust option at left-back.

While the 30-year-old could well still have a role to play in the side in a central defensive berth, if the ambitious outfit are to kick on and push towards Champions League qualification and major honours moving forward, it could well need a quality ‘upgrade’ such as Sosa to come through the door.

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