Thursday, October 29, 2020

Where will Ademola Lookman fit in on Tyneside?

According to Sky Sports, as well as Sky in Germany, Newcastle United have made a loan inquiry to RB Leipzig to take young English winger Ademola Lookman on loan for the rest of the season. The report also states that the Tyneside club are looking to negotiate a fee for an option to buy if the youngster impresses during his loan spell.

If he were to come in, it would certainly be a very interesting move by Steve Bruce and Newcastle given that their forward options are currently somewhat limited. Lookman, having fallen out of favour at Leipzig under new boss Julian Nagelsmann, has struggled to make an impact in his second spell with the German cub – and has decided Newcastle is where he wants to make his return to English football.

So far this season, Lookman has played just four times in all competitions – and is yet to register a single goal or assist. In his six-month loan spell at Leipzig back in the 2017/18 season, he scored five goals in 11 league appearances – impressing enough for Leipzig to mount a year-long pursuit of his signature. Now, following half a year back in Germany, opportunities have been so limited that he’s now seeking a move away.

Lookman on his way to Newcastle?

Newcastle have struggled in attack this season, unsurprising given the defensive tactics employed Steve Bruce. When they have been in attack, Joelinton has struggled to get any goal-scoring chances and while they’ve both impressed, Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron haven’t exactly been prolific.

United have bagged just 20 goals in the league so far this season, and while I wouldn’t expect Lookman to come in and become a prolific goalscorer – what he will do is give Bruce another option, thus opening up room for maneuver.

Many fans, including myself, have been very vocal about the misuse of Miguel Almiron is his year in black and white. Due to the lack of options available to Bruce, the Paraguayan has been forced to play on the right wing for most of the games he’s played this season.

The arrival of Lookman would allow Bruce to consider moving Almiron to his more natural central role, thus resulting in a knock-on effect which will see Joelinton get a little more support. With Lookman on the left, Saint-Maximin on the right and Almiron in a number ten role behind Joelinton – that has the makings of a far more potent offensive force, on paper at least.

Saint-Maximin has played only on the left for United so far, but for Nice he often played on the right as well so it’s the logical choice. Meanwhile, Almiron either played in the number ten role or in central midfield for Atlanta United, and was very prolific in that position – albeit in a lesser league. In the last few games, he has been allowed to play in that more central role while United have struggled with injuries – and he’s very much impressed, scoring his first two goals for Newcastle in the last five games.

Lookman, although he likely won’t come in and become a world beater, will give United some much needed depth in attack. In my personal opinion, it’s a very good move from Newcastle, if they manage to pull it off that is, and we all know that’s a very big IF.

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