Newcastle United

Newcastle: Francisco Trincao would be an upgrade on Josh Murphy

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Newcastle can replace unproductive right-winger Jacob Murphy with on-loan Barcelona man Francisco Trincao if they follow through on their reported interest.

What’s the latest on Newcastle’s interest in Trincao?

According to Portuguese outlet Torcedores, the Magpies are linked with a surprise move for the FC Barcelona frontman as PIF seek to sign attacking reinforcements in the summer.

Trincao is currently on loan at Sporting Lisbon from the LaLiga giants, and the report suggests the Portuguese giants have a €7m (£6m) option to buy him at the end of the season.

However, if this option is not exercised, Trincao could prove a shrewd and relatively cheap move for Newcastle, for whom a right-sided midfielder or winger is a priority.

Sporting CP's Francisco Trincao in action

Why would Trincao be an upgrade on Murphy?

After a forgettable and unsuccessful season on loan at Wolves in the 2021-22 season, the 23-year-old is enjoying an impressive season at Sporting.

He has registered 12 goal involvements in all competitions as his side sit disappointingly fourth in the Primeira Liga but are preparing for a Europa League quarter-final against Juventus after dramatically defeating Arsenal at the Emirates in the round-of-16.

The right midfield slot for Newcastle has been a problem area this campaign, with Jacob Murphy deputising for Miguel Almiron when the Paraguayan has experienced injury problems, and it is clear cover is needed in this position.

Trincao has proven a more effective option from the right this season, with 0.28 goals and assists per 90 compared to Murphy’s 0.11, 79.8% pass completion rate to 65%, and 1.90 successful take-ons compared to 0.98 in their respective leagues.

The Viana do Castelo-born star also impacts the game more with a higher number of touches (49.8 to 2.3), carries (33 to 27.5), and fouls drawn (1.56 to 0.87) per 90 than the man he may replace at St James’ Park.

The ability Trincao possesses is shown by Tim Spiers of The Athletic hailing him as “unbelievable” after one notably impressive performance against Leeds United in an otherwise underwhelming spell at Molineux.

Whilst Murphy is a solid and capable winger with good pace and crossing ability, Trincao is a more dynamic and versatile player who has Champions League experience and seven caps for the Portuguese national team.

Despite not being a particularly glamourous name or likely to get Newcastle fans overly excited, the £14m-rated dynamo seems a sensible signing with top-level experience who would represent a significant upgrade on Murphy as PIF look to strengthen the squad ahead of a second full season in the North East.

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