Newcastle United are being linked with a January move to sign Benfica midfielder Andreas Samaris. The Magpies were expected to sign him in the summer but the move did not go through after Rafa Benitez opted to sign Mikel Merino instead. The new arrival has been strong but not as influential as Newcastle may have wanted him to be. Hence, a January move for a player like Samaris does seem like a step in the right direction.
Of late, Newcastle have been struggling in the Premier League despite making a strong start to the season. Their takeover is yet to happen and it is uncertain as to how much money they will be able to spend in January. However, considering the amount of impact Samaris is capable of providing, they should certainly make a move for him if it is feasible enough.
The 28-year-old has earned a reputation within the game as someone who can control and establish sheer domination in the midfield. Standing at a little over 6 feet tall, Samaris boasts of a robust frame that can boost Newcastle’s chances in the Premier League. Strong at tackling and competent in the air, Samaris is a natural attacker. Also, these are 3 qualities of his that the Magpies are missing in the middle of the park.
Samaris started off in the Greek amateur league with Panachaiki and then signed for Olympiacos in 2012. He returned to his former club on loan but moved back to Olympiacos and even helped them lift the Greek title. In fact, the midfielder has picked up quite a number of trophies over the course of his career. At Benfica, he’s won three league title in his three seasons and that itself exactly showcases what the player is capable of.
One might argue that Merino could face a lack of game time if Samaris were to join the club in January but the fact is both midfielders have very different skill-sets. While Merino provides more power in the final third, Samaris is better in the role of a holding midfielder. If Merino and Samaris were to play for Newcastle, the duo could be key in establishing defensive control while also creating excellent goal-scoring opportunities for the likes of Joselu and Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Thus, if Benitez is able to get his funds in order and is able to afford a move for Samaris in the winter, he should most definitely go for it. Newcastle have a pretty strong squad but they are lacking something and perhaps Samaris could hold the key to improving their performances.