Kevin Hatchard believes that Ivan Fresneda would have no problem backing up Kieran Trippier and filling in when required at Newcastle United.
The Magpies are yet to make a breakthrough in the January transfer window despite having a great opportunity to finish in the top four this season.
They have indeed been linked with some players, including young starlet Fresneda, who made his league debut for Real Valladolid this season and looks set to leave the La Liga outfit if his manager’s comments are anything to go by – as he’s been talking up his player to Marca (via Sport Witness) amid the links.
Newcastle aren’t the only team interested in Fresneda, however, with table-toppers Arsenal also said to be keen. But with the Magpies only having Kieran Trippier and the rarely-seen Javier Manquillo as options at right-back, the youngster could come in and become a deputy.
Hatchard has revealed live on Sky Sports what people who watched Fresneda are saying about him and how he would fit into Eddie Howe’s side.
Are you worried about the lack of signings?
He said: “Really highly thought of considering he’s not played a huge amount of senior football, and the people I speak to who watch Valaldolid a lot talk about him not only being one for the future, but somebody who could go somewhere like Newcastle and back up Trippier no problem at all – and if he was thrown into that situation playing in the Premier League, could deal with it.
“Good on the ball, does the defensive basics well, potentially a really smart pick-up.”
TIF Thoughts on links to Fresneda…
Given that the only backup Newcastle currently have is 28-year-old Manquillo, bringing in someone at the other end of the age scale to both him and Trippier could be seen as a smart move by PIF.
It has been reported that Fresneda has a release clause of just £8.7m, which would show very good value and once again highlight the smart recruitment drive which is ongoing at St James’ Park, contrary to what some may have expected when the takeover was passed through.
And we feel Fresneda would unlikely be the last signing for Newcastle if he does indeed move to Tyneside because they are currently experiencing a midfield crisis with Bruno Guimaraes, Jonjo Shelvey and Elliot Anderson all out injured.