Is this long standing Newcastle United target from Portugal a good signing for Rafa Benitez?

Andreas Samaris

Why Andreas Samaris Would Be A Good Signing For Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United

As per reports from Portuguese media, Newcastle United are set to revive their interest in Benfica midfielder Andreas Samaris. The Greek international was a subject of strong interest from the Magpies in the summer window, but a move failed to materialise.

However, reports claim that the Portuguese champions have changed their stance ahead of the winter window and are willing to offload the 28-year old this month.

Newcastle have been struggling to get results in the Premier League in recent weeks and find themselves at 13th position in the league table at the turn of the year, with 22 points from 22 games – just 4 points above the relegation zone. After a summer of frustration, manager Rafael Benitez will be hoping that funds will be made available for him to bolster his squad to guide the Tynesiders to safety.

Midfield has been an area that the Spaniard has been keen on strengthening. While the likes of Jonjo Shelvey, Mikel Merino and Isaac Hayden represent decent options, the inconsistencies in their performances have hampered Newcastle. With Mo Diame as the only backup for the role, it is clear that the Magpies midfield could do with reinforcements. 

Samaris would fit the bill for Newcastle to a great extent. He may have featured just 13 times across all competitions this term, scoring one goal, but his contributions in the last three seasons when Benfica went on to win successive Portuguese league titles cannot be overlooked.

The 28-year old is someone who will sit back in the midfield to try and recycle possession for his more adventurous teammates in the other half of the pitch. A tenacious presence, the Greece international is a strong tackler of the ball and has a great sense of positional awareness, which allows him to get into good positions to thwart the opposition.  

Possessing great levels of energy and stamina, he can also run up and down the park, pressing the opposition well. While he has the ability to drive the team forward from the midfield, he has curbed that side of his game in recent years. He also possesses a venomous right-foot, using which he unleashes some fierce shots from distance.

A very good passer of the ball as well, Samaris has the ability to pick out teammates with great accuracy and usually starts attacks from deep areas with long cross-field balls – something that could prove to be devastating with the likes of Jacob Murphy, Christian Atsu and Matt Ritchie out on the flanks for Newcastle. A winner of several titles and trophies with Benfica, Samaris will also bring in a winning mentality and wealth of experience to a relatively young Newcastle side. 

With the Portuguese side deeming him surplus to requirements, he is likely to be available on the cheap. The Tyneside outfit should jump at the opportunity to snap him up, as he could make a great difference come the business end of the season.

Written by Raghavendra Goudar

Mechanical Engineer, avid reader and a football fanatic.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche. (Getty Images)

Top 3 free scoring strikers Burnley could look to sign in the January including Liverpool star

Go for it Wenger: Koscielny along with Chelsea’s £30m star could form a deadly partnership