Why Newcastle should make a move for Kenny Lala in January
According to a report from Shield Gazette, Newcastle United are looking to offload four players in the January transfer window as Steve Bruce looks to cut some deadwood. Bruce will listen to offers for Javier Manquillo, Ki Sung-yueng, Yoshinori Muto and Dwight Gayle.
The four players have managed a combined 16 appearances in all competitions this season, only four of which have come from the start. As far as Gayle and Muto are concerned, the additions of Joelinton and Andy Carroll in the summer have pushed them on the periphery.
Meanwhile, Emil Krafth was signed from Amiens in the summer to cover and compete with DeAndre Yedlin and Javier Manquillo. However, with Yedlin returning from injury, Manquillo has got little game time this season.
The report adds that the departures of the aforementioned quartet in January could allow Bruce to strengthen his Newcastle United squad. Truly, Bruce needs to replace the players to maintain his squad’s depth as the Magpies look to avoid another relegation skirmish.
Back in January, the French Football News had claimed that Newcastle were interested in Strasbourg star Kenny Lala. (h/t The Chronicle)
Kenny Lala, 28, was Ligue 1’s most consistent full-back last season as his 5 goals and 10 assists in 40 games across all competitions helped Strasbourg win the Coupa de la Ligue. Since joining from Ligue 2 club Lens in 2017, he has become one of the most important players at Stade de la Meinau.
The Frenchman may have not hit the ground running in the new campaign as he would have liked to, but he has started 9 out of 12 Strasbourg’s league games thus far. Keeping in mind Lala’s consistent performances since the last season, Newcastle must reignite their interest in the full-back in January 2020.
Should the Magpies sell Manquillo in January, Bruce will be left with just two right-backs in his squad – Yedlin and Krafth. While Yedlin has endured too many off-days to really be counted upon at this point, Krafth has done absolutely very little so far to suggest that he is up to the standard required in the Premier League.
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And Lala, who can play at left-back, as a right wing-back or as an advanced midfielder, could be a perfect fit for the 5-4-1 formation Bruce appears to be favouring at St. James’ Park. He excels up the pitch, and 5 goals and 10 assists last season justifies that. Excellent going forward, the former Lens man is also decent defensively.
The need for another right-back at Newcastle is a pressing one given Bruce’s plans to offload Manquillo. Lala seems like he would be a good signing due to his form so far and volumes of experience at the highest level.