Why Newcastle have missed a trick in not signing Alassane Plea
According to reports, Borussia Monchengladbach have confirmed the signing of OGC Nice forward Alassane Plea.
Plea, 25, enjoyed a fantastic final season with Nice, scoring 21 goals in 49 games in all competitions. Due to his goalscoring exploits in Ligue 1, Newcastle United were also reportedly interested in the French forward. However, Plea has opted for a move to Monchengladbach, who finished 9th in the Bundesliga last season.
There was genuine hope from Newcastle fans that Rafael Benitez would be backed with substantial funds this summer after he guided the club to a respectable 10th-place finish. However, the Magpies have struggled to make any expensive additions to their squad so far.
The Magpies have made just three signings in the form of Martin Dubravka, Ki Sung-Yeung and Kenedy, who has joined on a season-long loan from Chelsea.
Keeping that in mind, missing out on Plea would come as a big blow for Newcastle, particularly when they were reportedly just £2million short with their bid for him. The Magpies’ first offer was turned down and before they came up with an improved offer, the train had already left the station.
It could be really frustrating for Rafael Benitez to miss out on a player of Plea’s quality. After a long time, the club had shown the ambition and desire to splash a lot of money on a player who has been in hot goalscoring streak for the last couple of seasons in France.
The Frenchman was a step up in level from the players which Newcastle have been targeting in recent times. Now that Plea has joined Monchengladbach, Benitez has to look elsewhere to get a striker as he looks to strengthen his team up front.
Newcastle would have welcomed the French forward into a squad that has lacked punch and guile from their centre-forward position. Also, Plea’s versatility could have come in handy for the Magpies as the 25-year-old can play as a central striker or on either wing. He is strong, powerful, fast and industrious, a player who would be perfect for Benitez’s system.
The failure to get Plea could come back to haunt Newcastle in the future. They need a prolific centre-forward, a player who can guarantee 15-20 goals in a season. Aleksandar Mitrovic showed what Benitez missed in him as the Serbian striker dazzled on loan at Fulham last season but is expected to move permanently to Craven Cottage ahead of the new season.
Newcastle desperately need a striker and time’s running out for Benitez.