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11 Goals And 10 Assists – Why Newcastle United Should Go For This Ligue 1 No 10

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Ryad Boudebouz

Why Ryad Boudebouz Would Be A Great Signing For Newcastle United

Last month, Algerian outlet Le Buteur reported that newly promoted Premier League outfit Newcastle United were planning a swoop for Montpellier attacker Ryad Boudebouz. The report claimed that the Magpies manager Rafael Benitez was most intent on adding the 27-year old to his ranks and it also stated that the player too was open to a move to the Tyneside.

However, a few days ago, Newcastle’s hopes were dealt a blow as Talksport reported that German club Bayer Leverkusen were poised to make a move for Boudebouz, throwing a spanner in their work. But the same source has now claimed that the Magpies have been handed a boost in their bid to sign the Algeria international, after French club Olympique Lyon, who were also interested in his services, have decided to pull out of contention.

Boudebouz had a brilliant campaign with Montpellier as he finished the season with an impressive return of 11 goals and 10 assists from 34 games across all competitions. While his club did not enjoy the best of the seasons, finishing in the 15th place in the Ligue1 table, the 27-year old made sure that his performances were top notch. Without his brilliance, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the club would have faced the prospect of relegation from the French top division.

Primarily a central attacking midfielder, the Algerian international can play out wide as well, but he is at his best when playing in a No.10 role, as he was on most occasions for Montpellier this past term. Playing just behind the striker, Boudebouz puts his excellent playmaking abilities to great use, creating chances galore for his attacking partners, while getting on the scoresheet himself on a regular basis.

Last season, in his 33 Ligue1 appearances, the 27-year old played a whopping 117 key passes, which gives an inkling into the creative side of his gameplay. His range of passing and the ability to find teammates from tight spaces and hit accurate crosses from the wide areas give his team an edge in the attacking third.

Given his slightly short frame, Boudebouz isn’t the best in the air, but with his low centre of gravity, he has the ability to twist and turn past the defenders at pace with the ball at his feet, making him a tricky customer to mark. And to round it off, the 27-year old is an equally top class set-piece taker, making him one of the most all-round playmakers in the French league.

These are exactly the qualities that the Newcastle team lacked last season. The Magpies may have been able to win the EFL Championship and return to the Premier League with relative ease, but the top flight will be a totally different ball game, something which the team and the manager will be very well aware of.

Last campaign, Newcastle employed Ayoze Perez in the No.10 role and rotated him with Mohamed Diame on regular occasions. While Perez wasn’t that bad, he does lack that necessary bite in the attacking third and isn’t really an out and out playmaker who can dictate play and control the flow of the game. And the lesser said about Diame, the better. This rendered the Newcastle midfield quite flat on occasions and that is something that Benitez will be keen on resolving ahead of next campaign.

Bringing in Boudebouz will definitely address that issue to a large extent. The Algerian international has shown he can be a consistent performer at the top level and at this point in time, has outgrown his present club. The report claims that Montpellier are demanding a fee in the range of £13million for his services and at that price, someone of his quality will no doubt be a steal for Newcastle.