Euro 2020 (what a silly name) continues to provide a distraction from the grind of being a Newcastle United supporter. It has been nice to see current and former players on the world stage, but could there be some future Newcastle players on display.
It is foolish to get carried away by performances in an international tournament, but there are players on display that would improve us. Below we discuss five players that we should target:
1. Glen Kamara
It has been an excellent season for the central midfielder, as he has helped Rangers win their first league title in nearly a decade. He is now impressing for Finland in their first ever major tournament and it is easy to see why he has been praised for his performances.
Kamara is very much a ball winner with lots of energy to cover ground in the middle of the park. During Rangers’ impressive Europa League run, he averaged 1.5 tackles and 1.5 interceptions per game. His pass accuracy across all competitions was touching 90%, which shows how reliable he is in possession.
We have had a reliance on Isaac Hayden to be the aggressive ball-winner in our team. Kamara would provide another player capable of carrying out this role and he would be a player worth targeting this summer.
2. Connor Roberts
Right back/wing-back should be high on the agenda over the next couple of seasons. Jacob Murphy has proven that he can do a job, but he doesn’t look to be the long term answer there.
If we maintain a formation with wing-backs, we could do worse things than targeting Swansea City’s Connor Roberts. He has been excellent for Steve Cooper in the Championship and he has an attacking style that suits playing wing-back. That was evident in Wales’ win over Turkey, as he was still getting up into the penalty area in stoppage time to score the second goal.
Last season, he played in every game for Swansea in the Championship, totallying 4052 minutes, showing his durability. Roberts contributed five goals and seven assists. Although he still has defensive issues in his game, as shown for his role in Switzerland’s goal in Wales’ first match, he is a very exciting player with room for further development.
3. Enis Bardhi
The North Macedonian midfielder hasn’t always caught the eye at this summer’s Championships so far, but he looks to be a very technically adept player. His best quality is his dead ball delivery and this is an area that we could do with improving in the coming months.
He is versatile and able to play in several positions in the midfield. The one concern would be his low goal involvement for Levante last season, as he contributed one goal and two assists. In his three previous seasons, he contributed 19 goals and seven assists, showing his quality in the final third.
This would be a good transfer to strengthen our midfield, as we have a lot of players with a similar profile. Shelvey is our only technical option in the centre of the park. Bardhi would provide an alternative to him.
4. Roman Yaremchuk
It has been an excellent start to the tournament for Roman Yaremchuk. The 6ft 3′ Ukraine striker has two goals and one assist, forming an excellent relationship with Andriy Yarmolenko. Further to his goals, he has been reliable in possession as shown by his pass success rates of 94% and 83% in the first two matches.
He provides a focal point and looks to thrive when leading the line on his own. As he plays for Gent, he will be attainable for us. Although there is likely to be a lot of interest in him based on his performances for Ukraine.
Last season, he scored 17 goals and contributed six assists in the Jupiler League. If we are in the market for a striker to support Callum Wilson, he’d be a great choice. His form this summer probably means the price will be too high for us though.
5. Ondrej Duda
After a disappointing loan spell with Norwich City, it would be a surprise to see too many Premier League clubs looking at Duda. However, he has looked very good for Slovakia during this tournament and he has excellent numbers in the Bundesliga for years.
This season, he has starred for FC Koln with seven goals and four assists. He carries a dual threat in the final third, as he can score and create chances for his team-mates. Duda is another proficient set piece taker, who is excellent when operating in tight spaces to keep hold of the ball.
He can play across the midfield line and he would add a second Slovakian presence to our squad. If we were looking to add a more creative forward player, Duda would be a great addition.