Newcastle United Opinion: Why Newcastle United should make a summer move for Thiago Mendes
Newcastle United hasn’t had the best time in the Premier League this season and while injuries have played a major part in that, the winter transfer window proved to be a stop-gap solution.
The addition of Miguel Almiron will help the Magpies survive the 2018/19 season but they need to add another central midfielder as well to their ranks.
While Sean Longstaff has done a superb job after being called up into the first team, the English midfielder is only 21 and will need more time to fully adapt to his new role.
With that said, it stands to reason that a new midfielder should find his way into Newcastle’s line-up and that man should be Thiago Mendes. The 26-year-old has been among LOSC Lille’s best players this season.
While the Ligue 1 club came close to a bidding war for the midfielder’s services in the winter window, no move materialized.
However, things could change in the summer window and the Magpies should leave no stone unturned in pursuing a move for the talented midfielder.
Versatile enough to play either as a central or defensive midfielder, Mendes has been blessed with a wonderful blend of defensive and offensive abilities.
A deep-lying midfielder like Ki-Sung Yeung, the 26-year-old has the pace and athleticism to play as a box-to-box midfielder as well. That’s something Benitez looks for in his midfielders. Given that Shelvey has struggled with fitness issues since his arrival, few would be as easily available as Mendes.
Not only that, the LOSC Lille star has averaged 2.5 tackles, 1.7 interceptions and 1.3 clearances per game – a mark above any Magpies midfielder this season. That shows exactly why the club
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The fee will be pocket change for Newcastle United and Mendes could turn out to be the man who helps the Magpies achieve that goal of a top-half finish again.