Newcastle: 385-game star's arrival would be 'surprising' at St James' Park

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe clapping supporters

Newcastle United’s potential transfer of Borussia Dortmund and Belgium winger Thorgan Hazard would be a surprise move for Eddie Howe’s side, according to Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie.

The 29-year-old has been linked with a move to Tyneside this summer, but Downie has hinted it may not be a deal the club look at pursuing.

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What’s the latest on Hazard?

According to Bild, Newcastle are interested in buying Hazard for a deal worth £12.9m this summer.

The report suggests that the Bundesliga club are open to selling the brother of Real Madrid winger Eden, suggesting that Howe’s side could get the deal over the line with minimal fuss, should they choose so.

Hazard, who has been described as “hard working” by Alex Sixsmith, joined current club Dortmund from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2019, and has made over 100 appearances for the club according to Transfermarkt – in total, he has 385 senior career games under his belt.

But Downie believes that the transfer would be an odd move, given the winger’s age.

What has Downie said about Hazard?

He told GIVEMESPORT: “The only thing that I’d be surprised about would be his age.

“I think he’s 29, and I know Eddie Howe is trying to get the age [of the squad] down.

“He actually said that towards the end of the season as most of the players he brought in in January were getting on a little bit.

Will Hazard move to Newcastle?

With a rumoured fee of just £12.9m required to secure the services of the 45-time Belgium winger, it seems likely that the Magpies would be able to lure the former Chelsea man to St. James’ Park should they choose to make a move.

Hazard made 30 appearances for the German giants last season, scoring six goals and providing one assist, according to Transfermarkt.

The 5 foot 9 winger is more than comfortable in a pass, ranking in the top 10% of attacking midfielders/wingers across Europe’s top five leagues and European competition, for passes attempted per 90 mins (54.55) according to FBref.

The versatile wideman also has a hard-work ethic, ranking in the top 20% of attacking midfielders/wingers for pressures per 90 minutes (20.55), the top 17% for interceptions (1.40), the top  19% for blocks (1.63), and the top 19% for aerial duels won (1.16) according to the same stats provider, suggesting that he would be able to adapt to the rigours of Premier League football.

And an average SofaScore rating of 6.80 for his performances across last season’s Bundesliga campaign would suggest that the 29-year-old has played to a solid standard when called upon.

Despite his age, Hazard would likely be a decent asset for Newcastle, even if it was just as a squad player, as Howe looks to push his team into the top-half of the Premier League table next season.

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