Newcastle have sent scouts to watch Bayer Leverkusen’s highly-rated Florian Wirtz ahead of a potential summer move, according to reports.
What’s the latest on Newcastle’s interest in Florian Wirtz?
According to the Daily Mail, Newcastle sent scouts to Germany to watch Leverkusen face Union St Gilloise in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final.
The scouts will have seen Wirtz score a fine equaliser for his side to secure a 1-1 draw going into the second leg next Thursday.
The piece suggests that Newcastle were listed among the scouts again as Leverkusen visited Wolfsburg on Sunday but the 19-year-old started on the bench and was booked after coming on in the second half, with the game finishing 0-0.
Why do Newcastle want Wirtz?
The £76k-per-week man has been dubbed “one of the best talents in the world” by transfer guru Fabrizio Romano and “outstanding” by Germany boss Hansi Flick.
He was enjoying a remarkable personal campaign last season, that saw him clinch ten goals and 14 assists from 31 outings across all competitions, before he sustained a serious knee ligament injury last March.
This injury kept in out of action for almost a year but since his return to the pitch in January he has picked up where he left off, registering four goals and eight assists in the 17 matches he has featured in.
The dynamic midfielder ranks among the top 1% of attacking midfielders and wingers across Europe’s top five leagues for assists, the top 1% for successful take-ons, the top 2% for shot-creating actions, and the top 3% for progressive passes per 90 – as per FBref.
This highlights the impact he could have on a Newcastle side who are without a recognised attacking midfielder to play behind the striker and thread incisive passes to the forward line.
Wirtz would fit PIF’s transfer strategy described by George Caulkin and Chris Waugh in The Athletic as luring the best up-and-coming talent, who are 24 or under and can grow with the club, as well as arriving with a vast amount of European and top-league level experience for someone so young.
He would also represent a statement signing considering the other top European clubs who have shown an interest and could form a formidable partnership with striker Alexander Isak for years to come.