Newcastle are interested in Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.
The Lowdown: Struggling to Start
The 29-year-old has only made more than 20 league appearances in a season once since 2019.
Having fallen out of favour at PSG, the France international has been on loan for the past three seasons.
For the most recent campaign, he has been at West Ham, where he couldn’t establish himself as the number one keeper ahead of Lukasz Fabianski. The £7.2m-rated shot-stopper only featured once in the Premier League.
The Latest: Newcastle Looking at Areola
According to French news outlet RMC Sport, the Magpies are ready to swoop in and make a deal with PSG if the Hammers are not interested in the Paris-born goalie.
The Tyneside club are currently powerless, as the east London side have an option to buy as part of their loan deal, but there will be questions around whether the 6 foot 5 player will want to return given his limited game time.
The former Fulham loanee’s contract at PSG expires next year, which is why the French club is so eager to sell the player.
The Verdict: Good Signing
Martin Dubravka has been the undisputed no.1 at St James’ Park since he joined the club in 2018, and he is still performing well.
The difference between his post-shot expected goal and goals conceded, which tells you how well a keeper is doing compared to what they’re expected to do, is 4.1, meaning that the former Sparta Prague keeper has saved over 4 more goals than he was supposed to.
However, the 2020 Newcastle Player of the Year is 33, and Howe must look for an eventual replacement.
While Areola has hardly featured domestically, he was between the sticks for the Irons as they reached the Europa League semi-finals.
In that competition alone, he saved 3.4 more goals than he was supposed to, which was the third highest and had the most clean sheets.
His performance against Sevilla was particularly impressive, with journalist Toby Cudworth calling one save “unbelievable” and the PSG Academy graduate “world-class”.
Given that he has also impressed in the Premier League when on loan to Fulham, being voted their Player of the Season, Areola would be a clever signing for Eddie Howe to make.