William Carvalho Could Be The Missing Piece Of Newcastle United’s Midfield Puzzle And Here’s Why
According to reports from Portuguese outlet O Jogo and later reported by the Daily Star, newly promoted side Newcastle United are planning a sensational swoop for Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho.
The 25-year old Portuguese international has long been linked with a move to the Premier League with the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City also maintaining a long-standing interest in the player. Now it seems like the Magpies are set to join the chase for Carvalho as they look to bolster their squad ahead of their return to the Premier League.
Newcastle had a very good season in the EFL Championship, finishing as winners and thus gaining automatic promotion back to the top flight in their first attempt. Manager Rafael Benitez has done a very good job, but the well-travelled Spaniard understands that his squad needs some amount of chopping and changing to put up a strong showing on their return.
The Toon arguably had the best squad in the Championship last season, but there are several obvious weaknesses in the team that they will need to address in the upcoming summer window. As a result, a busy summer is expected at the St. James’ Park.
One of the areas that Benitez will definitely want to improve is his options in midfield. The Spaniard had used the duo of Jonjo Shelvey and Isaac Hayden in the two-man midfield pivot for large parts of last season. However, an injury to Hayden at the turn of the year meant he had to rely on Jack Colback to fill in for the former Arsenal man.
Colback, however, was very disappointing in the run of games he was afforded as he did not offer much to the team either in the attacking sense or defensively. The other option that Newcastle have for the position is last summer’s signing Mohamed Diame, and the lesser said about the former Hull City man, the better.
This is where William Carvalho would come into the picture. The 25-year old is one of the most promising defensive midfielders in Europe and has already gone on to make more than 150 appearances for Sporting since bursting onto the scenes as a youngster. In the process, he has also managed to score 10 times and has registered 12 assists. He finished the previous campaign with 2 goals and 4 assists from 43 games across all competitions.
The 31-time capped Portugal international is exactly the kind of player Newcastle need in their ranks to put up a fight in the top division. A no-nonsense midfielder, Carvalho is an excellent tackler and completed 80 out of 109 attempted tackles last term.
A good reader of the game as well, Carvalho has the ability to pop up in the right position at the right time to thwart the opposition from developing their attacks. He also has the range of distribution that allows him to pick out his teammates from deep. He finished the season with an amazing 88.3% passing accuracy. Standing tall at 1.87m, he forms a towering presence and can intimidate the players using his physique.
Partnering him with Shelvey will allow the former Liverpool and Swansea City man to flourish more as it will provide him the creative freedom to dictate the play in the attacking third, without having to worry about the defensive responsibilities.
A tough-tackling, hard-working, and a robust operator with loads of stamina, the Sporting man can form an excellent shield to the defence, allowing the other attack-minded players around him to prosper. There are no questions that Carvalho will be a huge improvement on the current options available at Newcastle right now. He will not come cheap as it has been suggested that Carvalho has a £39million release clause in his contract, but if Newcastle are to make a mark on the Premier League, the Portuguese star is the kind of player that they should be targeting.