The Magpies recently suffered back-to-back defeats in the league, and are beginning to feel the pressure that comes with being at the top, with only a slim gap between them and 2nd placed Brighton and Hove. African duo Mo Diame and Christian Atsu, won’t be available during the African Cup of nations, leaving Newcastle with lack of quality options in the middle of the pack for the time being.
As a result, the Championship leaders are reportedly after Mexico international and FC Porto midfielder Hector Herrera, with a winter transfer window switch on the cards as Benitez plans to strengthen his squad for the most decisive second half of the season.
Hector has always been on the radar of the Spanish coach since he was at Napoli. Liverpool are also said to be interested in the Olympic Gold medalist, with Klopp keen on providing his midfield with more competition in form of the Mexican.
However, a Newcastle switch looks more feasible given the guarantee of first team football for the Porto midfielder, and what most people want to know is what Hector Herrera can bring to the table for the Toons if he arrives come January.
Herrera is a powerful box-to-box midfielder who has been heralded as one of the best Mexican players in recent generations, and the 26-year-old has lived up to the hype since arriving Europe from Mexican club C.F. Pachuca in 2013. He has since become a key member of the Portuguese giants and continues to put in impressive performances on both domestic and European fronts.
Hector’s main strengths and style of play include key passes, dribbles, ball interception, tackling and blocking the ball, and those combinations of superb offensive and defensive characteristics are what Newcastle can add to their ranks. His addition will undoubtedly become a plus in many ways considering he could forge a great working relationship with the club’s most influential player this season Jonjo Shelvey.
The England international’s weaknesses are his inabilities to add any form of defensive contributions to play, but that stems solely from an obvious lack of such characteristics, as the willingness to help on that front is there on the part of the 24-year-old.
A combination of both Shelvey and Hector in the middle of the park would no doubt give headaches to opponents, and a return to top flight could see them become established powerhouses as a result of these 2 midfielders whose strengths could go a long way in complementing each other.
The Porto’s midfielder is also known for his leadership qualities and ability to influence his teammates and rouse them to victories. Herrera did recently lose his starting berth at Porto and has had some reduced playing time having made just 6 Portuguese Primeira Liga and 3 Champions League starts this season, but his qualities have remained intact, and Newcastle can benefit hugely from them as the campaign gets tougher, and more importantly, as they make a return to the Premier League after this very brief stint in the Championship.