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Bas Dost would be perfect striker for Newcastle United under Rafa Benitez

The Dutchman has a goal for every game he has played in Lisbon.

Jake Jackman

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Bas Dost
Photo: Getty Images

Newcastle United have had a frustrating summer so far, due to a stand-off between manager and board.

Mike Ashley wants Rafa Benitez to sign a new contract, while the manager wants to see his ambition matches before committing. The Spaniard knows he has a strong hand, but the longer that this goes on, the less time the Magpies will have to complete their summer business.

It is bemusing to many that Ashley continues to take unnecessary risks, especially when it comes to Benitez. The current manager couldn’t be more popular with supporters and he has proven that he can over-achieve with a modest Newcastle squad.

If the Spaniard is given a fair budget to spend this summer, the club will only progress and the long-term future will look bright once again. However, the Sports Direct tycoon is stubborn and he won’t want to back down.

Despite the lack of progress being made, Benitez will continue to work hard behind the scenes to bring in new players and a striker will be high on his agenda.

Newcastle may have finished in the top-ten of the Premier League, but their top scorer was Ayoze Perez with eight goals. That is an area that is concerning and needs to be addressed this summer.

(Photo by Patricia De Melo Moreira/Getty Images)

Marca report that the Magpies are one of the clubs interested in Sporting Lisbon striker Bas Dost, alongside Everton and Sevilla. The report states that the Dutch international could be available on a free transfer, due to incidents with the club ultras at the end of the 2017/18 campaign.

A group of fans attacked the club’s training ground and the striker was left with several wounds as a result. He could use that to get out of his contract with the club.

Regardless of whether he will be available on a free or not, it is clear that Dost will be looking for a new challenge this summer and Newcastle should do all they can to bring the player to Tyneside.

He has been a long-term target for the club and it is no surprise that his name has cropped up again this summer.

Benitez has favoured a target man, with Joselu and Islam Slimani both being signed within the last 12 months. Neither have managed to impress at St. James’ Park, but they show what the manager wants in the team.

Dost would be a very good fit in this regard, as he is powerful in the air and capable of linking-up effectively with the midfield. During the Portuguese league season, he won 59.76% of his aerial duals and created 21 chances.

However, it is his goal-scoring that is attracting interest from clubs. Dost scored 27 goals in the league, which is one every 95.96 minutes, an extraordinary record for any striker.

(Photo by Patricia De Melo Moreira/Getty Images)

His critics will suggest his numbers are tainted by the strength of the division, but considering the problems that Sporting have encountered this season, the 29-year-old’s record is impressive.

Dost has scored goals throughout his career and that is why several clubs will be watching his situation with interest.

During his two seasons with Sporting, he has scored 61 league goals in 61 matches. He has also proven himself in a top-five league, after scoring 32 times in the Bundesliga as a Wolfsburg player.

At the age of 29, it will be difficult to convince Mike Ashley to fund a deal, due to the lack of sell-on value. However, this would be a coup for the club and provide a huge boost to the supporters.

It would be a statement of intent and show that the club are together behind Rafa Benitez. That is needed sooner rather than later and this rumoured transfer would be the perfect way to achieve it. Newcastle need to do all they can to sign Dost.

Jake is a journalist based in the South East. He is a Newcastle United fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.

Tottenham Hotspur

Alireza Jahanbakhsh perfect alternative to Malcom if Tottenham miss out

The Iran international scored 22 league goals last season.

Liam Thomas

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Alireza Jahanbakhsh
Photo: Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur are edging closer to signing Brazilian starlet Malcom from Bordeaux with the 21-year-old keen to make the switch from Ligue 1 to the Premier League, according to The Sun.

However, despite the apparent interest from Spurs, no formal bid has been made by the North London side and, considering the rife competition for the youngster’s signature from around Europe, other alternatives should be considered.

This is where Iranian World Cup star Alireza Jahanbakhsh comes into the mix. The talented 24-year-old forward could be the perfect alternative to Malcom if Spurs miss out on signing the Brazilian starlet.

You only have to look as far back as last season to see the quality Jahanbakhsh possesses. Plying his trade in the Eredivisie with AZ Alkmaar the forward managed to notch up an impressive 22 goals and 14 assists in 39 appearances for the Dutch side.

(Photo by Saeed Khan/Getty Images)

This killer instinct in front of goal is something Spurs have been craving to lift some of the pressure off of talisman Harry Kane’s shoulders in recent seasons.

Furthermore the Iranian international has to ability to play anywhere along the front three and is equally capable of playing with both feet, two traits which led to Spurs’ interest in Malcom in the first place.

However, despite the forwards fantastic record and undeniable talent, there will always be an element of risk when requiring a player from the Dutch top flight, with many players in the past failing to step up and settle into life in the Premier League.

Nevertheless, Jahanbakhsh’ World Cup performances for Iran proved he is more than capable of stepping up to play on the big stage. This is something Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino should consider if they miss out on signing Malcom.

It remains to be seen whether or not Tottenham will land the signature of Bordeaux’s Malcom. However, if they don’t, Jahanbakhsh could prove to be a savvy bit of business and a cheaper alternative.

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Liverpool

Does Allan have a future at Liverpool after nomadic loan spells?

Liverpool brought in the talented midfielder three years ago but he has yet to play for the club.

Mathew Nash

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In the summer of 2015, pictures emerged of an unknown footballer in training with Liverpool’s first-team. It soon emerged that the player in question was Allan Rodrigues de Souza. Liverpool had signed Allan from Internacional in a deal reported to be in the region of £500,000. He looked like a great signing for the future and went on to play exceptionally well during a loan spell at SJK, helping them to their first Finnish title.

But since then it has been something of a struggle for the midfielder. Subsequent loan spells at Sint-Truiden in Belgium, Hertha Berlin in Germany and Apollon Limassol in Cyprus have been less of a hit. His last spell ended when a shoulder injury needed surgery and he has struggled with his nomadic career path since.

(Photo credit should read CARMEN JASPERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

One pressing issue is his need for a work permit. So far the 21-year-old has not yet managed to procure one and can therefore not play for the club.

Even if he did, it seems Allan would be some way away from the first-team picture at Liverpool.

When he first arrived and was sensational on loan in Finland it was excitement with trepidation considering the standard of football in the nation.

Now Liverpool fans will be wondering if the player will ever make it at Anfield. With his contract expiring next summer 2018-19 could be last-chance saloon.

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Stoke City

Gary Rowett opens the door for Robert Huth’s return to Stoke

Martyn Cooke

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Robert Huth
Photo: Getty Images

Stoke City boss Gary Rowett has opened the door for Robert Huth to return to the club on a permanent basis as the central defender continues to train with the first team squad as he attempts to regain his fitness.

The German was released by Leicester City at the end of last season following a hugely successful three-year stint at the King Power Stadium which included their historic Premier League title triumph in 2016.

Subsequently, he approached Stoke at the start of the summer and has been allowed to train with Rowett’s squad whilst he looks for a new club.

Huth remains a popular figure at the Bet365 Stadium having made over 150 appearances for The Potters over the period of half-a-decade following a £5 million transfer from Middlesbrough in 2009.

The 33-year-old formed a dominant central defensive partnership with Ryan Shawcross that provided the solid foundation on which the club’s modern success was built.

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

The notion of Huth re-signing for Stoke is a romantic concept, one that many Stoke supporters will be keen to see, and Rowett told the Stoke Sentinel that the door is still open for the German defender.

“He’s coming to train. We’ll see how it is for both parties and we’ll assess it as we go along … We’ll try to help him and that’s where we are at the moment. I don’t think there’s any real rush to make a decision.”

“There’s no strings attached for either party but come in and train, we’ll get you involved – we’re a little bit short in terms of numbers in that area anyway.”

Stoke are currently short of central defensive options following the departures of Kevin Wimmer (on loan to Hannover 96), Marc Muniesa (who has signed for Girona) and Kurt Zouma (who returned to Chelsea following the conclusion of his loan spell) as the club adapts to life outside the Premier League.

With that in mind, Huth’s availability as a free agent and his pre-existing standing within the club makes him an attractive option as Rowett continues to re-mould his squad in preparation for the new season. He has already featured heavily in Stoke’s early pre-season activities and fixtures whilst he is also likely to be joining the club on their tour of Germany.

However, Rowett is right to be cautious about signing the German defender.

Huth did not make a single appearance for Leicester last season as he struggled with a string of injuries and fell considerably down the pecking order at the King Power Stadium whilst, at 33 years of age, he is stepping into the twilight of his career.

Could he realistically adapt to the physical demands of the Championship where there is a requirement to play two matches most weeks as part of a demanding fixture schedule?

Furthermore, Stoke should be looking to the future rather than attempting to recreate previous glories.

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Whilst Huth remains a legend in the eyes of supporters he would only provide a short-term solution and will undoubtedly return as a very different player than the one that last played at the Bet365 Stadium in 2015.

Rowett is quite rightly looking to bring in a new generation of young, fresh and hungry talent which will be led by new signing Oghenekaro Etebo, Nigeria’s 21-year-old World Cup star. Does Huth fit within those parameters? Probably not.

Whilst Huth’s return may be a somewhat romantic notion that would certain provide a short-term solution to the club’s lack of defensive cover, on a practical level which looks at the long-term in would leave much to be desired.

Ultimately, much may depend, as it so often does in football, on money.

Stoke have already made significant moves in the transfer market following the arrivals of Etebo and Benik Afobe whilst they have been linked with a string of other big-money signings.

Without the safety net of Premier League TV revenue the signing of Huth on a free transfer could allow Rowett to focus his investment on strengthening other areas of the team.

So the door is certainly open for Huth to return on a permanent basis, although Rowett will need to decide whether his focus is on the short-term or long-term future of the club.

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