This will be the final scouting piece done this summer, with a focus on permanent transfers from overseas clubs.
Due to the British premium, it may be best for our scouts to be looking abroad for players – especially when our budget us believed to be so limited.
.Below we identify five players that Steve Bruce should be looking at in this transfer window.
Jonathan Panzo (Dijon)
I touch on British premium above, which does limit our ability to sign talented young English players. However, there is a current U21 international playing for Dijon in Ligue 1 and he has performed very well. He made 22 appearances last season and looked to be a very assured operator as a left centre-back. Dijon have been relegated, which means it should be easy to get him for a reasonable fee.
Panzo is a left-footed centre-back and they are attractive in the modern game, as they open up more passing lanes while building play from the back. He is confident on the ball as shown by his pass success rate of 87%. Panzo likes to step out of the back and would be a good fit for our current 3-5-2 formation.
It would be a signing for the future, as there is still great work to do on his physicality and positioning. However, we have an ageing group of centre backs and Panzo would add energy to the group. If we could sign him for a low fee, it could be a great move by the club, as he is already in the England set up.
Ludwig Augustinsson (Werder Bremen)
It seems that we are looking to add another left-back to our squad. Augustinsson from the relegated Werder Bremen could be a cheap option and he did show himself to be one of the better players during the disappointing season for the German club.
He registered four assists during the season. The Swedish international was averaging 0.13 xA and 2.76 shot creating actions, which place him highly among full-backs in major European leagues. FB Ref lists similar stats profiles to be Vladimir Coufal and Lucas Digne, two very good Premier League full-backs.
Defensively, he is solid, averaging 2.06 tackles, 2.39 blocks, 3.01 clearances and 2.18 aerial dual wins per ninety minutes. He would be a great fit for the wing-back role.
Joey Veerman (SC Heerenveen)
Following the success of Jetro Willems and Gini Wijnaldum, it is somewhat surprising that we haven’t looked to the Dutch market more often. Joey Veerman is an exciting young midfielder, who could be a good alternative to Joe Willock if the Arsenal man doesn’t return.
For Heerenveen, he has contributed 11 goals and 15 assists across the last two Eredivisie seasons. He is a dynamic player, averaging 2 shots, 1.9 key passes and 2.3 dribbles per ninety minutes. In addition, he is a good set-piece taker, which we lack in our team sometimes.
Rangers have been linked to a move, which suggests to me that he is a player that we could attract to St James’ Park. Our midfield needs energy and goal threat. Veerman could be a clever target for us.
Amine Gouiri (Nice)
The Ligue 1 market is one we should be looking to take advantage of this summer, as several clubs are in financial issues. This is due to the big television deal with Mediapro falling through coupled with the ongoing pandemic. Gouiri is a young, talented U21 international and if we did look to target him, it could be a similar deal to the one for Saint-Maximin.
Gouiri is capable of playing as a striker or as a wide forward, which would make him a good fit for the Graeme Jones’ split striker system. He broke through at Nice after struggling to make an impact at Lyon, as he contributed 12 goals and seven assists in Ligue 1.
He averages 0.36 xG, 0.16 xA, 3.78 shot creating actions and 6.59 progressive carries per ninety minutes. Nice may be willing to part with him for a decent fee and at the age of 21, he has huge potential. This is the type of deal we should be looking at under Ashley, as there is an opportunity for his value to sky rocket.
Paul Onuachu (Genk)
There will be a desire to sign another striker this season, as Callum Wilson needs competition. Paul Onuachu looks to be a striker that would thrive in the Premier League, due to his physicality and goal-scoring ability. He has scored a remarkable 33 goals for Genk this season and at the age of 27, he may be looking for an opportunity in a big European league.
At 6ft7in, he would add a different profile to our attacking options. Unlike Andy Carroll, he looks to have the goal-scoring ability to regularly find the back of the net. He is averaging three shots and four aerial dual wins per game, which underlines the main facets to his game.
It is unlikely we will be looking to spend big on a striker and Onuachu’s goal scoring this season means Genk would want a premium fee. However, he is the type of player we should be looking to sign.