Newcastle United could look to the summer transfer window to strengthen their impressive squad even further, and news has emerged on a potential transfer target.
What’s the latest on Newcastle’s interest in Jonathan Tah?
According to 90min, the Magpies are one of the clubs who have held talks to sign Bayer Leverkusen defender Jonathan Tah.
As per the report, the Tyneside club will compete with Liverpool to secure the signature of the centre-back this summer as he approaches the final two years of his contract with the Bundesliga club, and Newcastle have already spoke to intermediaries about a potential January move.
Ashworth could land a Botman clone
There is no doubt that Eddie Howe will be thrilled with the way that his squad have taken on their campaign so far in both the Premier League and Carabao Cup, with the Toon Army heading to Wembley for their first domestic cup final since 1999.
The Magpies are currently fourth in the top flight after a phenomenal run of form in their first 22 league outings, suffering just one defeat and competing at the highest level with the potential of qualifying for Champions League football in their own hands over their remaining fixtures.
Indeed, the investment the squad has paid off massively for Howe and the Newcastle hierarchy since the takeover in October 2021, with Bruno Guimaraes, Sven Botman and Nick Pope all playing a huge part in the Magpies’ successful rise from facing relegation battles to competing for European football in little more than 12 months.
As a result, sporting director Dan Ashworth must continue to develop and inject high-quality influences into the team when the opportunity arises once again this summer, and potentially signing Tah could be a great opportunity to strengthen their defensive ranks.
Across 20 Bundesliga appearances this term, the £25k-per-week German – who was dubbed a “battleship” by former team-mate Christoph Kramer – has scored one goal, completed 100% of his dribbles and tallied a 95% pass completion rate in his own half. He has also averaged 56.6 touches, 3.7 clearances and 2.8 successful duels per game, proving to be a huge defensive and progressive presence.
Indeed, Ashworth could land a Botman clone for the Magpies, with the Newcastle centre-back named as the most comparable positional peer to Tah over the last 12 months according to FBref.
The two defenders have shared a number of close similarities over this season so far including pass completion rate (88.9% v 85.9%), dribblers challenged (13 v 15), tackles and interceptions combined (34 v 36), clearances (73 v 66) and ball recoveries (87 v 86).
With that in mind, signing Tah would be a great piece of business for Newcastle and would give them the depth in their back-line to comfortably compete if, as seems very likely, they secure European football next season.