Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie believes that Newcastle United’s move for Mitchell Bakker may have “legs” throughout the January transfer window.
The Magpies are continuing to try to strengthen their squad this month as they look to climb clear of the relegation zone.
What’s the latest with Newcastle?
They face Leeds United this weekend in another genuinely huge game in the club’s bid to stay in the Premier League.
Newcastle are currently 19th, and two points behind Watford in 17th after the two sides played out a 1-1 draw at St James’ Park last weekend.
Leeds did look as though they could be dragged into a relegation dog fight but they have beaten both Burnley and West Ham United in recent weeks to climb into 15th, 10 points clear of the Magpies.
Newcastle have only won one of their 20 games this campaign, and are in desperate need of reinforcements.
Howe’s side have already brought Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood into the club and have now been linked with a swoop to sign Bakker from Bayer Leverkusen.
The Daily Mail has reported that the Magpies have tabled a bid worth £14.5m for the 21-year-old, who only joined the German club from PSG in the summer.
The Bundesliga side paid £8m to secure his signature, per the aforementioned report, so they could make a profit on the defender, who stands at 6ft 1in, in this window.
The Netherlands U21 international has played primarily as a left-back this season but he also offers the ability to play in central defence, and he has made 15 appearances in all competitions for Leverkusen this season.
Downie believes that a deal could well be done for Bakker in this transfer window as Newcastle bid to further strengthen their squad, having already tabled a new loan bid for Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard, per The Daily Telegraph.
What did Downie say?
He told GiveMeSport: “I have to say that sounded like it could have some legs in it. It sounds like he can play centre-back and left-back so that, I think, could be an option for the second centre-half who could also fill in at left-back as well.”
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How good is Bakker?
This is a really good defender.
He remains young, of course, and is malleable when it comes to his growth and his potential to get better across the next few seasons.
Per fbref, he is statistically comparable to Manchester United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu.
He is good when it comes to using the ball, boasting impressive pass completion numbers as well as a high rate of assists, passes attempted and interceptions.
He would help Newcastle move up the pitch from defence, and looks like a healthy upgrade at left-back, and for a relatively low fee too.