Newcastle: £34m target could be a big Lascelles upgrade
Newcastle United’s strength in depth will be put to the test this season as Eddie Howe’s side are set to compete across four competitions.
Who have Newcastle signed this summer?
The Magpies have bolstered their options, possibly to combat the extra games that the Champions League provides, by making three new first-team signings so far.
Tino Livramento, Sandro Tonali, and Harvey Barnes have all come through the door on permanent deals to bolster the head coach’s roster, whilst Lewis Hall is reportedly poised to join on an initial loan from Chelsea.
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Journalist Craig Hope recently claimed that the club are also eyeing up a new central defender and that Torino star Perr Schuurs, who has been valued at €40m (£34m), is one of a number of players they are interested in.
How good is Perr Schuurs?
The 23-year-old titan is a solid centre-back who enjoyed a good season in the Serie A last term, which means that he could be a shrewd signing for Howe.
Schuurs averaged a Sofascore rating of 6.88 over 30 league games for Torino and won 55% of his duels on the ground as he displayed his strength in physical contests to win possession for his side.
As previously stated, depth will be important for Newcastle as they compete in two domestic cup competitions, the Premier League, and the Champions League.
This means that Howe needs to have players he can rely on if one of his first-choice options needs to be taken out of the side and Schuurs could arrive as an “outstanding” – as he was once described by journalist Josh Bunting – upgrade on Jamaal Lascelles.
The Magpies skipper is the current back-up to Fabian Schar and Sven Botman and struggled in his limited appearances as he averaged a Sofascore rating of 6.53 and lost 75% of his ground duels across seven Premier League outings.
This came after the ex-Nottingham Forest enforcer averaged a Sofascore rating of 6.73 and lost 57% of his ground battles over 26 top-flight matches during the 2021/22 campaign.
The 29-year-old dud’s Sofascore ratings placed him 23rd out of 24 players within the squad last term and 16th during the previous season.
These statistics suggest that Schuurs would come in as a big upgrade on Lascelles in terms of the average level of his performances and his ability to come out on top in physical duels if he can translate his form from Italy over to England.
The Dutch colossus, who the aforementioned Bunting also once dubbed “dominant”, could also provide more drive on the ball to push the team up the pitch.
Over the last 365 days, the Torino ace has completed 0.39 successful take-ons per 90, which places him in the top 17% of his positional peers among the top European leagues and competitions.
Lascelles, however, completed 0.04 per 90 during the 2021/22 Premier League campaign and ranked within the bottom 20% of centre-backs in the division.
This suggests that Schuurs could offer more in possession by taking on the opposition’s press to gain yards and place his side in better positions to start attacks, which is another reason why he would come in as an upgrade on Lascelles to fill in for Botman or Schar when required.