Bayer Leverkusen defender Mitchel Bakker is a ‘serious contender’ for Newcastle United as manager Eddie Howe looks to sure up his backline in the January transfer window, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.
The Magpies have already signed Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood from Atletico Madrid and Burnley, respectively, yet it’s believed at least two more fresh faces are being targeted before the end of the month.
What is the latest news involving Bakker?
According to the Daily Mail’s North East football correspondent Craig Hope, Bakker is a target who Newcastle could ‘see movement on’ over the next few days.
It’s claimed that Leverkusen are set to demand £16 million for their first-choice left-back and are ‘already sourcing replacements’ for the highly-rated gem ahead of a possible bid from Newcastle.
The 12-cap Netherlands international only moved to the Bundesliga outfit from Paris Saint-Germain in July 2021 following a two-year stint with the Ligue 1 giants, but he could be on the move once again this winter.
After just two senior appearances for boyhood club Ajax, Bakker joined PSG when he was still a teenager yet struggled to establish himself in the starting XI on a regular basis.
It’s been a different story at the BayArena, though. The attack-minded full-back has featured 16 times in all competitions for Leverkusen this season, catching the eye with some impressive displays.
What has O’Rourke said about Bakker?
With Bakker seemingly available for transfer at the right price and Newcastle now part of football’s financial elite following their Saudi-back takeover, an imminent deal appears a genuine possibility.
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And O’Rourke believes the youngster could the next player to join Howe’s ongoing revolution at St. James’ Park.
In an exclusive interview, he told GiveMeSport: “I think this one could be a serious contender for Newcastle to try and strengthen at left-back.”
Do Newcastle need a new left-back?
Newcastle have struggled defensively all season, conceding 43 goals in their 21 top-flight fixtures – the second-highest total in the Premier League.
And Saturday’s clean sheet against Leeds United was just their second in the league throughout 2021/22, highlighting the need for defensive reinforcements.
The versatile Paul Dummett has made a difference since returning from injury over the last couple of weeks, putting in solid displays at left-back against both Watford and Leeds as Newcastle picked up four points.
However, his consistent fitness troubles and the hugely underwhelming performances of both Jamal Lewis and Matt Ritchie mean extra cover and competition may be required.