Go for it Bruce – Newcastle would strike gold by signing this 20-year-old midfield star

Why Stephane Diarra would be a top long-term investment for Newcastle

According to French publication L’Equipe (h/t The Scottish Sun), Newcastle United are one of the clubs interested in Le Mans midfielder Stephane Diarra.

Stephane Diarra, 20, has impressed with his performances in the Ligue 2 this season, scoring twice in 10 league starts. He was on loan at Le Mans from Rennes last season, making 31 league appearances to help the side to the Ligue 2 play-offs while scoring three times.

Apart from Newcastle United, Leicester City and Celtic are also keeping tabs on the 20-year-old, the report adds (h/t The Scottish Sun).

Newcastle have shown signs of recovery from a poor start to the Premier League season, winning their last two games to go five points clear of the relegation zone. However, Bruce needs more reinforcements in order to beat the relegation drop.

Le Mans' French midfielder Gussouma Fofana (L) and French forward Stephane Diarra (R) celebrate aftre winning the French Ligue Cup round of 32 football match between Le Mans FC and OGC Nice. (Getty Images)
Le Mans’ French midfielder Gussouma Fofana (L) and French forward Stephane Diarra (R) celebrate after winning the French Ligue Cup round of 32 football match between Le Mans FC and OGC Nice. (Getty Images)

The 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Leicester, in particular, exposed a lot of weaknesses in the Newcastle squad. Isaac Hayden got sent off in that game, forcing Bruce to rely on the Longstaff brothers in the next few matches.

Even though they helped the Magpies win 1-0 over Manchester United — with younger brother Matty scoring the winner on his debut — the midfield is an area that continues to look weak.

Having released Mo Diame in the summer and failing to bring in his replacement, the Newcastle boss should strengthen his options in the middle of the park in January.

Hence, signing Stephane Diarra makes absolute sense for the Toon Army. A right midfielder by trade, the 20-year-old can also operate in an advanced role down the flanks. The Franco-Ivorian is a tricky player, who has made an average of 1 interception, 1.1 tackles and 2.4 successful dribbles. [Courtesy: SofaScored.com]

Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce discussing with Jonjo Shelvey and Jetro Willems against West Ham. (Getty Images)
Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce discussing with Jonjo Shelvey and Jetro Willems against West Ham. (Getty Images)

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While Saint-Maximin has shown some signs of promise in the first quarter of the campaign, Joelinton has only found the net once in 12 appearances. Miguel Almiron is yet to open his account for the season. 

Diarra, formerly of Evian and Rennes, is capable of bringing an injection of energy and creativity to Newcastle’s attack, whilst adding competition to Bruce’s current crop of midfielders.

Verdict

Newcastle definitely need to bring in some fresh faces in January and a move for Diarra would make sense. The dynamic 20-year-old may not walk straight into Bruce’s starting XI if a deal goes through but he’ll be a wise long-term investment for the Magpies.

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Written by Rohan Sengupta

Hi, I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.
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