Newcastle United have seen PIF make some significant investment to Eddie Howe’s squad in recent months.
One area that the Magpies have strengthened is their defence with a handful of new defenders coming in over their previous summer and winter transfer windows.
In terms of who has come in and become a pivotal player for the Toon, one player that fits this bill is Kieran Trippier.
Signed from Atletico Madrid back in January last year in a deal worth £12m, the right-back has made 37 appearances for the Tyneside club across all competitions, chipping in with three goals and seven assists.
To highlight how effective he has been for Howe’s side this season, the 31-year-old currently tops the list at Newcastle for the number of progressive passes (144) and shot-creating actions (116) he has made, leaving him with four assists and one goal to his name.
Looking ahead to the next summer transfer window, should PIF look to continue their attempts to strengthen the squad at St. James’ Park, one player the club have been linked with over the past week that we feel would do that and give Howe the chance to form a deadly partnership in tandem with Trippier is Alejandro Grimaldo.
With 287 appearances to his name for Benfica, the defender, who has previously been described as being “one of the best five left-backs in Europe” by Benfica sporting director Tiago Pinto, has scored 24 goals and supplied 58 assists, showing how useful he can be in front of goal, similarly to Trippier.
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This season has seen the 27-year-old make more progressive carriers (59) in the Portuguese league than any other player at his current side as well as making more passes (56) and crosses (25) into the penalty area.
This mirrors Trippier’s efforts for Newcastle, who also tops the list for the number of passes (62) and crosses (20) he has delivered into the opposition penalty area this season in the Premier League.
While the Premier League could be considered a big step up, if he was able to replicate these numbers in the English top flight, Newcastle would almost certainly be onto a winner.
Taking all of that into account, having a pair of full-backs that are so capable of carrying the ball forward and putting it into dangerous positions on either side of the pitch would surely make Newcastle a more threatening side.