Why Rony Lopes would be a smart signing for Newcastle United
According to a report from the Chronicle, Newcastle United are monitoring the progress of Rony Lopes, with Steve Bruce keen to sign the Sevilla winger in the January transfer window.
In their opening five Premier League games, Newcastle United have scored just four goals, the joint second-lowest in the league.
The Magpies broke their transfer record by signing Joelinton from Hoffenheim in the summer and while the burly forward has shown glimpses of his potential, he still needs time to fully adapt to the demands of the Premier League.
Other than Joelinton, Steve Bruce has very little firepower to call upon from the bench. Yoshinori Muto has never been a prolific goalscorer in his career, while injuries to Matt Ritchie and Allan Saint-Maximin have left the Magpies thin in the wide department with just Christian Atsu and Jetro Willems deemed as recognised wingers.
Newcastle certainly need more craft and pace in their ranks if they are to avoid relegation from the top-flight this season. And Rony Lopes could be a good fit at St. James’ Park.
A product of SL Benfica youth academy, Lopes moved to Manchester City back in 2012 but failed to make the grade before leaving the Etihad permanently in 2015 for AS Monaco. After impressing for AS Monaco in recent seasons, he only signed for Sevilla this summer for £18m.
However, the winger, who scored 15 goals in Ligue 1 for Monaco in the 2017/2018 season has struggled so far in Spain, featuring just once in La Liga so far- an 11-minute cameo as a substitute.
He is already out of favour under Julen Lopetegui, with the Sevilla boss leaving the 23-year-old out of the match-day squad for the third time in four games during Sunday’s 1-0 win at Alaves.
A move to Newcastle could help Lopes put his career back on track. A creative right winger by trade, the Brazil-born star is also adept operating from the left or through the middle.
The 5ft 7in pocket-sized dynamite would add flair and guile very much missing in the Newcastle attack. His dribbling skills, composure in front of goal and stamina combined with his work ethic will give the Magpies a sliver of a chance to upgrade their side.
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Lopes could be desperate to prove himself in the Premier League as well, having failed to break through at Manchester City.
Sevilla could be tempted to cash Lopes in as early as January now that he isn’t favoured by Lopetegui. Newcastle, in that regard, should make use of this situation to strike a cut-price deal to sign the Portuguese international in the January transfer window.