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Newcastle should forget Rondon and give Mitrovic another shot

Rafa Benitez is looking to secure a striker this summer, but should Newcastle put more faith in returning loanee?

Jamie Watts

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Newcastle United are reportedly in the market for new forwards this summer, with Rafa Benitez identifying the Magpies’ attacking output as a key weakness last term, despite their impressive 10th place finish.

The Spaniard is allegedly keen on Venezuela international Salomon Rondon and could offer him a route back into the Premier League, from the recently relegated West Brom, according to the Northern Echo.

However, the 28-year-old may not be the best option to spearhead the side at St James’ Park.

Rondon has failed to bag more than 10 goals in a domestic season since arriving from Zenit St Petersburg, while his 28 strikes in 120 games makes for pretty poor reading.

It goes without saying stats are not everything, but Newcastle will need a reliable scorer to ensure safety, and perhaps he is not worth the risk.

Photo: Getty Images

Strangely, Benitez seems reluctant to recall former fan favourite Aleksandar Mitrovic despite his recent resurgence, and is pursuing other targets that employ a similar game to the Serbian.

On loan in the Championship last term Mitrovic regained his confidence and eye for goal, and he was pivotal in Fulham’s  push for promotion, netting an impressive 12 goals in 11 games for the Cottagers in a period he described as “the best four months of my career”.

The former Anderlecht man seems to have curbed his disciplinary issues and simplified his game up top, with his link-up play representing some of the finest in world football last term. And the time could be perfect for his return to Tyneside.

Photo: Getty Images

It is evident from rumours surrounding Rondon and Sporting Lisbon talisman Bas Dost (Marca), that Benitez is actively seeking a physical linchpin to orchestrate play in the final third and Mitrovic could be his best option.

Newcastle are not famed for their spending in transfer markets and they have a ready-made solution returning to the club imminently.

Benitez should reevaluate his current pursuits and give Mitrovic one last chance. On last season’s evidence, the results could be brilliant.

Tottenham Hotspur

Rumoured Tottenham move from Leicester would be ideal for Harry Maguire

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Photo: Getty Images.

Harry Maguire was one of England’s sensations this summer at the World Cup, going from a pick questioned by many to a real fixture in the side and one of the first names on the team-sheet.

The central defender will be keen to build on that success back at club level in 2018/19, whether that is at current club Leicester City or not, with the Daily Star reporting that odds as low as 5/2 on a move to Tottenham have been offered.

Such a deal would make perfect sense for the 25-year-old, who may not be impressed by his club’s decision to allow Riyad Mahrez to depart and could consider that now would be the best chance he’ll get to walk into the starting line-up of a top six side.

(Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)

Maguire has made a firm impression at the King Power Stadium but now faces a big call: whether to confirm his place as the leader of his team or move on for a new opportunity.

Manchester United are also quoted at 8/1 whilst Liverpool at in the running at 10/1, with Manchester City and Chelsea looking unlikely to show an interest with their odds reflecting that at 16/1, yet Tottenham may be the most attractive proposition.

 

“We’ve tried to play out and change the game to the way we want to play but there is still a lot of improvement to come. We feel we can get a lot better as a team and as a group. It is now time to show that.”

Harry Maguire speaking after England’s third place play-off defeat to Belgium.

With Toby Alderweireld‘s expected departure likely to leave a spot open for someone to accompany Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez in the strongest side, Maguire has a rare opportunity to work under a coach like Mauricio Pochettino with a superb reputation for developing talent.

Potentially lining up alongside England team-mates like Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Harry Kane, who would likely be keen to line up alongside him at club level too and could ease the transition, playing with a style more akin to that he has played for England of late.

It may be a gamble for Maguire to leave a club with potential where he is comfortable, but a transfer to Tottenham could take his career to the next level in ideal surroundings.

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Everton

Who is Everton’s £35 million rated defensive target David Lopez?

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Reports from Spain suggest that Everton may make a big money bid as Marco Silva looks to rejuvenate the Toffees’ back line, having yet to dip his toes into transfer window this summer after last summer’s catastrophes cost Ronaldo Koeman his job, with Espanyol captain David Lopez being eyed up.

Mundo Deportivo believe that the Merseyside club are one of three clubs, alongside Spanish duo Real Betis and Valencia, to be interested in signing the 28-year-old as his current team grow increasingly concerned that they could lose him.

It comes after Mundo Deportivo previously stated, amid interest from Newcastle United, that Lopez would only be allowed to leave the RCDE Stadium if his release clause of €40 million (£35.4 million) were to be paid in full, though the latest reports suggest that Everton would not be willing to match that.

(Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

The former Napoli man is not well known by many in the Premier League, but he has quietly developed a reputation as one of La Liga’s steadiest defenders and a key part of one of Spain’s most solid defences at times in 2017/18.

Now in his third spell at the Catalan club, Lopez missed only one game last season, due to suspension, and played every other minute of action, keeping 15 clean sheets in 43 appearances, with his leadership and command at the back likely being key to the role that Silva could see him taking up at Goodison Park.

“It would not be good for the team if he were to leave because he is a player with status and in the spine of the team. Finding a player of his quality is complicated. It would be a tough blow and it would not be positive for the team. I hope he will continue, with him we gain a lot on the ball, in terms of tactical sense and helping the team. He’s a key man.”

Team-mate Victor Sanchez recently discussed the impact losing Lopez would have on Espanyol, speaking to L’Esportiu de Catalunya.

Consistent and strong in the tackle, Lopez offers everything that Everton have been crying out for as they look to replace their ageing giants of Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams.

With a ready made leader potentially ready to come in alongside Michael Keane, Lopez may not be the kind of glamour buy that some fans may have been hoping for, but he will certainly get the job done and bring a rich pedigree with him.

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Tottenham Hotspur

One winner and one loser amid rumoured Tottenham exit for Danny Rose

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Photo: Getty Images.

There were surprise reports breaking from France as post-World Cup it was claimed that French champions Paris Saint-Germain are considering Tottenham‘s Danny Rose as an option at left-back.

Le 10 Sport report that he is one of three candidates on PSG’s shortlist this summer, alongside Raphael Guerreiro from Borussia Dortmund and Alex Sandro from Juventus, and could well be on the move.

The news comes almost 12 months after a sensational interview in which he slammed the club’s wage structure and spoke of a desire to move on in search of silverware, followed by an injury hit campaign in which he started only nine Premier League games.

 

““I am reaching my peak and have probably only got one big contract left in me. Time is running out and I do want to win trophies. I don’t want to play football for 15 years and not have one trophy or one medal.”

Danny Rose speaking in August 2017.

If he were to move on, Rose’s decision could have a big impact on two men in particular…

One Winner: Ben Davies

Given that he made 38 appearances last season and started in many of Tottenham’s biggest fixtures of the season in league, cup and European competitions, there may already be an argument to claim that Welsh international Davies is the first choice left-back at White Hart Lane.

A possible departure for Rose would mean that Pochettino could freely select Davies as first choice without the need for rotation that he has had to use this season and give the former Swansea man a real platform to prove himself as one of the best in the Premier League.

The 25-year-old has already shown that he has what it takes and an exit for his biggest rival at club level would give him the chance to shine.

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

One Loser: Layvin Kurzawa

Many in France expected that the 25-year-old full-back could be one of those to benefit the most from Unai Emery’s departure and Thomas Tuchel’s arrival in Paris, yet his reported interested in Rose looks likely to kill off any such hopes of a career revival having made only 20 Ligue 1 appearances last campaign.

A French international who missed out on the World Cup squad due to limited game time, he would not be likely to compete with a new statement purchase and could be moved on.

The Daily Mail have previously linked him with Tottenham themselves, as well as Manchester United and Chelsea, so it may not end so badly after all for Kurzawa, but the potential signing of Rose would seemingly spell the end of his time in the French capital.

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