Why Jean-Philippe Mateta to Newcastle United makes total sense
As per the report, the Magpies were genuinely interested in securing the services of the talented young centre-forward but a bid of £24 million wasn’t enough to tempt Mainz into selling their prized asset.
The 22-year-old had emerged as one of the most sought-after young talents in Europe this summer following an excellent debut season in the Bundesliga the last term.
Jean-Philippe Mateta was a raging success in the German top-flight in the previous campaign, as he racked up an impressive tally of 14 goals and 2 assists in 34 Bundesliga appearances in what was his first full season in any first-tier league in Europe.
Mateta rose through the youth ranks of lower-division French club Chateauroux before earning a move to Lyon in 2016 but he largely featured for their reserve team and made only a couple of league appearances at the senior professional level.
A fruitful loan spell at Le Havre in Ligue 2 that yielded 20 goals in 38 appearances paved the way for a move to Mainz, who signed Mateta from Lyon last summer to replace Yoshinori Muto, who made his move to Newcastle United for a fee of £9.5 million.
The 22-year-old featured in the UEFA U-21 European Championship in Italy and San Marino earlier in the summer but he is yet to return to action for Mainz in the Bundesliga.
The youngster is currently on the recovery trail from a knee injury and is expected to be back in the thick of things during the second half of the season.
Meanwhile, Newcastle spent big to secure the services of Allan-Saint Maximin and Joelinton in the summer in a bid to bolster their attack but that has hardly made a big difference so far in the season, with the duo sharing only one goal between them in the Premier League.
Despite Steve Bruce answering his critics with victories over Man United and Spurs, Newcastle have endured a lacklustre start to the season and the 1-0 defeat against Chelsea on Matchday 9 saw the Magpies drop down to the relegation zone once again.
Having found the net only 5 times in 9 games, Newcastle share the joint-worst scoring record in the division with Watford, whilst also having one of the worst average possession percentages in the Premier League.
With that in mind, it won’t be a surprise if Steve Bruce decides to dip into the January transfer window to bring in significant reinforcements and a new centre-forward is likely to be high on his wishlist, given the team’s woeful run of form in front of goal.
To put things into perspective, the Magpies should go back in the market for Jean-Philippe Mateta in January or next summer in a bid to add much-needed firepower and physicality to an attacking unit that has hardly made any kind of impact in the Premier League.
Standing at 6ft. 4 inches with a towering frame, Mateta could well prove to be the man who manages to bring the best out of Joelinton with his ability to operate as the focal point of the attack and bring others into play.
Newcastle’s ineptitude in retaining possession has forced the Brazilian to cut an isolated figure up top but a powerful presence like Mateta could add another dimension to the forward line, with more agile players like Joelinton and Saint-Maximin playing on either side of the Frenchman.
The Magpies, of course, have Andy Carroll but he has only been entrusted with a bit-part role by Bruce and given that his last Premier League goal came 18 months ago, there is hardly any evidence to suggest that the veteran still has enough gas left in his tank after several recurrent injuries.
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Jean-Philippe Mateta certainly has the power and the technique to excel in the Premier League in the long run and he is only going to get better with time, meaning that a potential move to bring him to St. James’ Park would be a wonderful investment looking at the future.
Given that Newcastle had a £24million bid turned down by Mainz in the summer, they are going to have to return with a better offer if they choose to go back in the market for the 22-year-old’s services.