In the space of a year, Newcastle United have gone from a side associated with relegation battles to a side capable of competing at the very top of the Premier League, resulting in Champions League qualification last season.
Plenty of that improvement has been down to their impressive recruitment, splashing their new-found riches following their takeover by a Saudi-led consortium in October of 2021.
Eddie Howe has put the money to good use once again this summer, too, by welcoming the likes of Sandro Tonali and Harvey Barnes in recent months.
Now, the Magpies have reportedly joined the race for another potential attacking reinforcement before the summer transfer window slams shut in just a matter of days.
What’s the latest Newcastle United transfer news?
So far this summer, Newcastle have welcomed a total of five new arrivals, such as Tonali, Barnes, and most recently, Lewis Hall.
Howe and co have enjoyed a summer window as they look to make it back-to-back top-four finishes in the Premier League this season. Now, as the transfer window edges closer and closer to slamming shut, Newcastle could bring one more reinforcement through the door at St James’ Park.
According to The Sun’s Alan Nixon, via TEAMtalk, the Magpies have joined the race to sign PSV Eindhoven winger Johan Bakayoko this summer, with Tottenham Hotspur also interested in the youngster, who could cost around £30m.
Both Spurs and Newcastle reportedly made a first move by sending scouts to watch Bakayoko in PSV’s recent 2-2 draw against Rangers in the Champions League play-offs, and will do the same for the return leg, which takes place on Wednesday.
Should Newcastle United sign Johan Bakayoko?
Having built the foundations for immediate success, Newcastle would be doing themselves no harm by beginning to think about the future. And that could start with the signing of Bakayoko. There’s a reason why the Belgian has attracted so much interest this summer, with the statistics speaking for themselves.
According to FBref, Bakayoko is in the top 99 percentile for progressive carries, with 7.22 per 90, the top 95 percentile for successful take-ons, making 3.07 per 90, and the top 91 percentile for shot-creating actions, with 4.97 per 90. And this is all at just 20 years of age.
So far this season, the winger has made further strides towards success, too, with four assists in six games, only increasing the interest in his immediate future around Europe.
At his best, Bakayoko has earned plenty of deserved praise, including from his agent, Gerard Witters, who told Het Nieuwsblad, via Goal:
“At the beginning of 2021, Johan was not doing well. But after he got his new contract, everything changed.
“He started to boost his stats and his recent games were phenomenal. The club has told me that Johan is already better than they initially thought he would be.
“Before he sometimes played like a crazy dog. He had great qualities and was very explosive, but he produced poor crosses and took shots when they were not the best option.
“Now he knows a lot more what he’s going to do and defenders can’t stop him anymore, despite the fact that he always does the same movement (cutting inside).”