Newcastle: £60m star would have added 'creativity' at St James' Park

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe

Newcastle United are ‘lacking creativity and invention’ this season, justifying their pursuit of Moussa Diaby, according to journalist Dean Jones.

The Magpies chased the 23-year-old for large periods of the summer before eventually ending their hunt due to Bayer Leverkusen’s astronomical price tag.

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Back in July, The Telegraph reported that Newcastle were being frustrated in their efforts to prise Diaby away from Leverkusen as the Bundesliga outfit were demanding £60 million for their prized asset.

Eddie Howe’s charges decided not to stump up the fee required to secure the France international’s signature, focussing their attention and resources on alternative targets instead.

Newcastle then made an unsuccessful attempt to snap up Leicester City’s James Maddison, seeing two bids knocked back for the playmaker, with the second totalling £50m.

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The Foxes were also said to be after a £60m fee for Maddison, leaving the St. James’ Park outfit to start the current campaign without the added flair in their midfield that they desired.

Alexander Isak did arrive late in the previous window to bolster Newcastle’s forward line, but the 23-year-old is perhaps lacking the desired service at this moment in time.

What has Jones said about Newcastle?

Newcastle have made a solid enough start to 2022/23, picking up eight points from their opening seven Premier League games to leave them in 10th position.

However, Jones believes they lack imagination, hence why Howe was so eager to bring someone like Diaby to the club.

He told GiveMeSport: “They are lacking creativity and invention, and this is one of the reasons they were looking for a player like Moussa Diaby who could provide that in the last transfer window.

Could Newcastle revive their interest in Diaby?

Diaby enjoyed an incredible 2021/22, registering 17 goals and 14 assists in 42 appearances, firing Leverkusen to a third-place finish in the German top-flight.

The diminutive attacker has found it difficult to reach those heights this time around, though, racking up just three goal contributions in his opening 10 games across all competitions.

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Yet Leverkusen could see next summer as the ideal time to cash-in on Diaby as his contract is set to expire in 2025, meaning it will be one of the last opportunities to receive a substantial fee for him.

Therefore, Newcastle, who are the joint-lowest scorers in the top half of the Premier League, may rekindle their pursuit of Diaby if he can find his best form once more.

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