- Premier League
- EFL Championship
- Other Top Clubs
- Scout Reports
Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United have thrown their hat into the ring for Real Madrid’s 26-year-old Lucas Vazquez, along with Arsenal, Liverpool and Roma.
At first glance, it’s hard to see why Newcastle want him (his obvious talent aside of course) as he prefers to play down the right-hand side and this area is well covered right now. Jacob Murphy has signed from Norwich and has been very bright in his substitute displays, while Matt Ritchie has once again looked excellent on that side.
Furthermore, left-winger Christian Atsu can also slot in on the right-hand side and so there seems more than enough cover right now in this area. That said, the no.10 position at Newcastle remains an issue for Benitez and one of those wide men could well fill in there.
Up to this point, Benitez has played either Ayoze Perez or Mo Diame in this role but has clearly not been entirely convinced by either of them. In Newcastle’s final pre-season game against Hellas Verona, Benitez finished the game by playing Rolando Aarons, a replacement for Atsu, Matt Ritchie and Jacob Murphy as a three men behind the striker. So he may be thinking of using Ritchie in this role more often.
If that’s to be the case, then another wide man will indeed be needed and Vazquez would be perfect for the role. Rarely afforded a start at the Bernabeu, the Real Madrid Castilla recruit was brought off the bench 30 times last term and managed 2 goals and 3 assists.
When given a start down the right, however, Vazquez put in some great displays and could have no trouble proving his worth in the Premier League. He managed a goal or an assist every 147 minutes last term, including lots of stop-start appearances from the bench and playing against the better players in the continent in the Champions League.
The other layer here to consider is that Benitez has been keen to ensure there is competition for places, in order to motivate his squad. Ciaran Clark and Jamaal Lascelles have been putting in an extra few percent since the arrival of Florian Lejeuene and I’m sure youngster Jacob Murphy would not rest for a moment, given the presence of Vazquez.
At this stage, Newcastle United are not yet in the top rank of Premier League clubs and so given the strength of Spanish football, having the likes of Lucas Vazquez or a Lucas Perez at the club would absolutely improve their overall quality.