Why Thiago Maia could be a smart signing for Newcastle United
According to a report from L’Equipe (h/t The Chronicle), Newcastle have held discussions about signing Lille midfielder Thiago Maia.
Thiago Maia, 22, joined Lille in the summer of 2017 and made 37 appearances across all competitions. However, he made just 11 starts in Ligue 1 last season as the club finished second in the table, qualifying for this season’s Champions League in the process.
The 22-year-old, who featured for Brazil at the 2016 Olympic Games, is regarded by many as a future star after progressing through the youth ranks at Santos.
The defensive midfielder’s performances for Lille have caught Newcastle’s attention and the Premier League outfit must do everything to their powers to sign Maia before Thursday’s transfer deadline.
The Magpies have managed to get a host of new additions snapped up in recent weeks, with Steve Bruce’s squad now starting to take shape. The signings of Joelinton and Allan Saint-Maximin have caught the eye, but Bruce isn’t yet done with his work in the transfer market.
Having strengthened his defence and attack, the 58-year-old tactician should turn his focus towards signing a couple of central midfielders.
Bruce currently has midfielders Jonjo Shelvey, Sean Longstaff, Isaac Hayden, Jack Colback, Ki Sung-yeung and Matty Longstaff on his books. Mohamed Diame was released by the club earlier this summer, while Hayden has hinted that he could still leave St James’ Park this summer.
If Hayden does leave it will be a huge blow to Newcastle, especially at this late stage of the summer. Newcastle could be left short in central midfield if Hayden departs and thus, a move for Thiago Maia needs to be prioritised.
A defensive midfielder by trade, Maia ability to dictate play from deep and break the lines with his range of passing should add a ton of value to the Newcastle squad.
He is always on the move, giving his teammates an option to pass to. Off the ball, the Brazilian can be hugely influential with his defensive work.
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The ex-Santos star’s tackling and interceptions skills are excellent and the 22-year-old’s presence at the base of the midfield would give Bruce’s creative players license to influence play more in the final third.
Maia could be an incredible signing for Newcastle. The Brazilian’s presence in the midfield would play a massive role in bringing balance to Bruce’s side and Bruce should not think twice about sealing the deal in the summer.