Why Kenny Lala would be a smashing signing for Newcastle United
Back in January, the Chronicle had claimed that Newcastle United were interested in signing Strasbourg right-back, Kenny Lala.
Kenny Lala, 27, joined Strasbourg from Ligue 2 club Lens in 2017, and has become one of the most important players at Stade de la Meinau. He enjoyed his best-ever season in the Ligue 1, scoring five goals and assisting 10 times in 40 games across all competitions and helping Strasbourg win the Coupa de la Ligue.
Newcastle United wanted to sign the French wing-back in January under former manager Rafael Benitez, but a move didn’t go through. Regardless of Kenny Lala signing a new contract with Strasbourg until 2022, the Magpies must rekindle their interest in the full-back and make an attempt to sign him during the January transfer window.
Steve Bruce signed Emil Krafth from Amiens in the summer to reinforce his full-back department. However, Krafth has struggled to cope with the demands of the Premier League as of now.
The Swede is likely to take some more time to get used to the physicality of English football but going by his performances so far, he isn’t cut out for a club like Newcastle.
Other than Krafth, Bruce has DeAndre Yedlin and Javier Manquillo as right-back options. With Yedlin having just returned from groin surgery and Manquillo highly inconsistent, the Magpies certainly could do with a new right-back.
As Bruce has shown an inclination to rely on a back-five system, the acquisition of a utility player like Kenny Lala could prove to be a shrewd piece of business.
Lala would definitely make sense for a number of reasons and his experience as a wing-back and in an advanced role down the flank means that Bruce can afford to look at him as a versatile option in the ranks, someone who could possibly provide cover and competition in multiple areas of the pitch when required.
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He is a modern-day full-back, blessed with good pace, crossing ability and energy. The Frenchman is brilliant while making the overlapping runs and is more than capable of creating chances for his teammates.
Lala could be the ideal player to give greater stability, both defensively and offensively to Newcastle, whilst also fitting as a right wing-back in Bruce’s 5-4-1 system.
An established player in Ligue 1, the signing of Lala would make complete sense for Newcastle. But Bruce and the Newcastle board would need to come up with a sizeable bid to tempt Strasbourg into selling one of their prized assets in January.