Newcastle United supporters might be expecting prominent arrivals this summer, but manager Eddie Howe will be looking to ensure prodigious talents are secured to ensure the newfound success is not fugacious.
What’s the latest on Azeem Abdulai to Newcastle?
One such rising starlet who could fit into this strategy is Swansea City’s Azeem Abdulai, with the 20-year-old midfielder on the Magpies’ radar, according to the Daily Mail, with Aston Villa also interested.
The Scotland U21 international is still within the academy ranks at Swansea, but is impressing with his exploits on the pitch and has been viewed as a perfect project for the aforementioned Premier League outfits, who could nurture him into the limelight.
While a transfer fee is presently unknown, Abdulai could be a shrewd acquisition for Newcastle and one that could prove worthwhile as the ace continues his progress over the next few years.
Who is Azeem Abdulai?
Something of a late bloomer, Abdulai is yet to make his Championship debut with Swansea and has only featured once this term, coming off the bench in the Carabao Cup against Oxford United.
Development in football is not linear, however, and Abdulai is earning plaudits for his robust presence on the pitch and tactical flexibility, capable both in a pivoting midfield role and as a more defensive cog, at the foot of the midfield or in central defence.
Signing a contract extension last year until 2025 is an indication that the Swans wish for him to continue his development in Wales – with the club’s senior professional development phase coach, Jon Grey, saying: “Azeem has been a fantastic addition for us since he has come into the club.
“He came in as a defender but has played more in midfield and adapted to it really well. He has done well for us and had time with the first team and made his debut. That is fantastic, it’s just that next step for him now.”
The aforementioned report from the Daily Mail likens his qualities to that of Jude Bellingham, highlighting his ‘stature, playing style and ability’ is akin to the Borussia Dortmund phenom reportedly closing in on a move to Real Madrid this summer.
Bellingham is one win away from ending Bayern Munich’s decade-long dominance in the German Bundesliga, with the Yellow Wall leading the table entering the final day of the campaign.
And the 19-year-old prodigy has unequivocally been a centrepiece to the feats, recording an average divisional Sofascore rating of 7.4, scoring eight goals and providing four assists, completing 83% of his passes, averaging 2.5 tackles and completing 67% of his attempted dribbles.
The all-encompassing gem is listed as a comparable player to Joelinton on FBref, who is thriving at the heart of Howe’s Newcastle system, which will bode well for the Magpies when assessing the feasibility of signing Abdulai, who could be a deadly partner alongside Bruno Guimaraes.
Guimaraes signed for Newcastle for £40m in January 2022 and has since made 56 appearances for the Toon, hailed as “world-class” for his impact by teammate Dan Burn.
Abdulai has a long way to go, but by following the template Bellingham exhibits, he could grow into one of English football’s more pleasing success stories on Tyneside with a transfer.
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