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Newcastle United

Who is reported West Ham and Newcastle United target Badou Ndiaye?

Jake Jackman

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Sky Sports understand that West Ham United and Newcastle United are both interested in Badou Ndiaye. According to his current club, Osmanlispor, a deal has been agreed to sell him to an English club, but the identity of said team has yet to be revealed. He has been impressive during his time with the Turkish side and he has received offers from across Europe, but it is thought that he wants to play in the Premier League. The report mentions that Crystal Palace and Everton have also scouted him.

Who is he?

The Senegalese midfielder won’t be well known to fans in this country, but he has had an interesting career. He started his career in Senegal and managed to impress a Scandinavian scout to earn himself a move to Europe. It may not have been to one of the glamorous leagues, but the midfielder made sure that he took advantage of the opportunity.

Ndiaye joined Bodo Glimt in the Norwegian second division and slowly adapted to European football. He was originally played in a defensive midfield role, but it wasn’t long before the coach realised that his attributes would be better utilised in an attacking role. After the change, he grew as a player and began to impact matches more regularly, which helped the side earn promotion to the top flight. In the Tippeligaen, he continued to do well and that earned him a move to Osmanlispor.

In his first season in Turkish football, he made an immediate impact and scored 11 goals for the team. This played a huge part in Osmanlispor qualifying for the Europa League. Although his goal tally for the most recent season was only six, he remained a consistent performer and it is no surprise that he is attracting interest from elsewhere.

What’s his style of play?

As stated above, he is a midfielder that prefers to play in the attacking half, as he possesses good energy and a turn of pace that often sees him burn past opposition players. As his goal return since signing for Osmanlispor shows, he is a reliable finisher and capable of taking a chance when one is presented to him. He doesn’t contribute many assists, but he does have a good eye for a pass and often controls the tempo for his team in the final third. Last season, he finished with a pass success rate of 81.2% and that is a part of his game that improved a lot over the last 12 months.

His current role doesn’t demand a lot of defensive work, but he is capable of pitching in and helping his team out. Last season, he averaged 2.6 tackles per game and he is an excellent presser of the ball. If he is utilised correctly, he can win possession high up the pitch and launch a counter-attack. One concern that any interested parties may have is his foul count, as his aggressive style can lead to silly free-kicks being given away.

Would he be a good addition for a Premier League side?

Given he has yet to play in a top five league, it would be a risk to sign him. However, the transfer window is crazy at the moment and it may be worthwhile for Premier League teams to send their scouts further afield. The smaller European leagues have a lot of talent and it could be a good strategy to target them, especially for the clubs with a lower budget.

Ndiaye has shown that he can adapt after making a move, as he has done twice before. The Premier League would be a significant step up in quality, but he has done enough to suggest that he may be able to do well in the division. His eight matches in the Europa League were an encouraging sign that he can do it at a higher level.

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

Everton

Sam Allardyce’s tactical masterstroke responsible for Everton success

The Toffees boss has been heavily criticised since his arrival at the club.

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Photo: Getty Images

Under-fire Everton manager Sam Allardyce engineered a tactical masterstroke during his side’s 1-0 Monday night win over Newcastle United.

By switching the positions of Everton’s two wingers, Allardyce directly contributed to the winning goal and proved his worth to the Goodison Park doubters.

For much of the first half, Yannick Bolasie and Theo Walcott were frustratingly ineffective when stationed on the left and right wings respectively.

Bolasie constantly declined to whip in crosses when given time, instead opting to idle on the ball and lose possession through poorly-executed bits of skill. When the Congolese international decided to put in service to the box, it regularly failed to meet an Everton shirt.

(Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

On the opposite wing, Walcott was largely anonymous and had little impact on proceedings, suffering from a lack of service.

However, Yet Allardyce’s swap proved instantly effective just minutes into the second half. Bolasie collected the ball on the right wing, just inside the Newcastle half, and drove purposefully down the line with his favoured right foot.

The former Crystal Palace man then lofted in a looping, inviting ball to the back post, where now left winger Theo Walcott was waiting in a perfect position.

After a kind ricochet, the ball fell kindly to the Englishman, who lashed home an emphatic strike to give Everton the lead.

(during the Premier League match between Everton and Newcastle United at Goodison Park on April 23, 2018 in Liverpool, England.

It was a perfect reward for the tactical nous of the Everton manager, with his intelligent switch directly resulting in the crucial strike for the Toffees.

The success of the switch provided a much-needed boost for Allardyce, who had endured an uncomfortable week. After a much-publicised club survey asked supporters to rate the manager on a scale of 1-10, the experienced manager had faced embarrassing questions over his future.

There was no better response than an inspired tactical shift that handed Everton all three points,  proving his worth to the Goodison Park faithful.

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English Premier League

Rolando Aarons looks set for second relegation in a row

The Newcastle United winger joined Italian side Hellas Verona on loan in January.

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Despite losing to Everton in the Premier League last night Newcastle United should be safe in the Premier League this season. It has been a tough campaign back in the top-flight but Rafa Benitez has worked wonders with his squad and the Toon Army now look set for another season in the Premier League.

But whilst Newcastle’s current players are safe from relegation, one of their more talented players currently out on loan looks set to suffer a drop.

Rolando Aarons’ career has been blighted by injury problems. When he burst onto the scene at Newcastle in 2014 it seemed as though the club had a future star on their hands. A performance against Crystal Palace that August had Newcastle fans extremely excited about the future for the Jamaican-born talent.

(Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

However, problems soon beset the youngster. After suffering a hamstring problem on international duty he spent six weeks on the sidelines. Hamstring trouble has since gone on to plague the wide man as well as a foot problem and anterior cruciate ligament injury. Since that breakthrough season in 2014-15 Aarons has only managed to play 21 times for the club in the following three campaigns.

This term he has been, for the most part, fit, but not in the plans of Benitez. Therefore, in January, he took the bold move of heading to Italy on loan. The 22-year-old joined Hellas Verona on loan until the end of the season in a bid for regular first-team football.

He joined former Newcastle coach Fabio Pecchia, now the boss at Verona, in the hope of playing regularly and finding his best form.

But, for the second season in a row, it seems Aarons will suffer relegation from the top-tier. Verona are currently 19th in the table, six points away from local rivals Chievo and Crotone and potential safety.

(Photo by Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/Getty Images)

To stay up, Verona need results in their final four games of the season. Whilst the home games against fellow relegation fighters SPAL and Udinese might give them hope, fixtures away to Milan and Juventus have seen many pundits in Italy forecasting their doom.

Aarons has played eight times for Verona since arriving at the club but has had limited impact. No goals and no assists in his 137 minutes of Italian football so far.

It seems that Aarons still has a long way to go until he can recapture his best form. The move to Verona has not been a success, but it was at least a brave switch from the young winger.

This summer he will be working hard to maintain his fitness and attempt to become a regular at Newcastle next season.

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England National Team

“No surprise”: Twitter reacts to rumours of Newcastle’s Jonjo Shelvey’s England return

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Photo: Getty Images.

When news broke that Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey could be in line for an England recall, fans around the country reacted in a variety of ways, both of joy and dread, that the former Liverpool man could be on the plane to Russia.

The Times say that his form, combined with fitness concerns over Jack Wilshere and Adam Lallana, have put him in the frame, and England boss Gareth Southgate is set watch as his Magpies team face Everton on Monday.

The 26-year-old has been key to Rafa Benitez’s side this season as they have re-established themselves back in the top flight of English football.

(Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Shelvey has already got six England caps to his name, the most recent coming in November 2015 against France, and he could now earn a return two and a half years later.

His sparkling form has caught the eye as all three goals he has been involved with this season (one goal and two assists) have come in his last four appearances.

Here’s how Twitter reacted to the news…

Many believed it was about time…

Plenty made comparisons to the alternatives, with two in particular coming up a few times…

He’s made some eat their words…

Yet not all agreed…

After three years in the international wilderness, Jonjo Shelvey will need to maintain his current form if he is to enter into the fight to earn himself a ticket on the plane to Russia as a surprise inclusion in Gareth Southgate’s squad to face Belgium, Panama and Tunisia in World Cup Group G.

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