Soualiho Meite would be a great signing for Newcastle – the French midfielder who’s enjoying an impressive debut campaign in the Italian top flight with Torino.
Why him you may ask? Well, with Hayden still wanting a move down south for personal reasons and Diame a back up option at best even if he does sign a new deal, we need a new CDM – and we’re looking it Italy by all accounts.
Securing the services of the 25-year-old, who has played a key role for Torino in central midfield, should be high on Rafa’s agenda.
With Mo Diame coming into the later years of his career – even though he does looks set to trigger a year extension – and the desire to leave from Isaac Hayden, we’re at risk of being light in midfield next season.
Torino won’t want to sell him in the summer following his impressive run of form in his first season at the club, but it’s been well documented that we’re scouting in the Serie A and they’d no doubt cash in if a decent offer arrived.
A youth product of French club Auxerre, Meite played for his boyhood club, then going on to have spells at Lille, Bordeaux and Monaco in Ligue 1. His career never really took off due to a lack of playing time in France, but he’s shone following a move to Torino last summer.
Standing at 6ft 2′ with a big burly frame, Soualiho Meite is essentially a central defensive midfielder who excels with his passing and ability to shield the backline.
A strong and powerful presence in the middle of the park, Meite is a hardworking and tenacious footballer who likes to stamp his authority with his physicality in the middle – a little like the late great Toite.
Blessed with a good range of passing and adept at retaining possession, Meite uses his physical presence to shield the ball from the opposition and also has the awareness to build up attacks with intelligent passes that could be an ideal foil for a partnership with Sean Longstaff once he returns from injury.
With his high work-rate and ability to break up the play with crucial tackles and interceptions, the Frenchman is capable of playing as a pivot in the centre of the park. To add to that, he often uses his pace and power to carry the ball forward, playing in crucial role during transition from defence to attack – something that could be well suited to Rafa’s counter-attacking approach..
To put things into perspective, Meite is an ideal replacement and upgrade for Newcastle. He is strong and tenacious midfielder who contributes a lot with his tireless running and quality on the ball – something we know Rafa values.
But will Ashley allow this kind of purchase, he fits the age bill and resale value but I would think he is more likely to go to a Watford.