With Danny Simpson’s future shrouded in uncertainty and Santon looking like left-back will be his position, I think finding a decent right-back is one of Alan Pardew’s priorities. We need two class full-backs in order to impose ourselves and have more control over games than we did last season. Every great team these days have full-backs who are great offensively when not doing the business in defence. These are the sort of players Newcastle should be targeting.
Here are five such players who would be attainable and would be a huge improvement for next season. Some more realistic than others…
MATHIEU DEBUCHY – LILLE
A close friend of Cabaye’s, the 26-year old Lille defender has been heavily linked to Newcastle recently. In his recent interview with BBC Newcastle, Alan Pardew mentioned they were working on bringing Could Debuchy be the player he was talking about?
Debuchy is a French international, currently in the provisional squad for Euro 2012. He strikes me as a player who would first and foremost be reliable at the back, whilst offering options in attack, something sorely missed last season from our incumbent right-back Danny Simpson. Debuchy seems like the most realistic target and it would be no surprise at all to seem him in black and white next season.
ANDREAS BECK – 1899 HOFFENHEIM
I would love to see a German defender playing for Newcastle. Beck has 9 caps for his country so far and is seen by many in Germany to be the long-term solution at right-back. Technically-gifted, his distribution from the back is excellent. At 25, I think he is at the right stage in his career to make the switch to the Premier League. Currently playing for and captaining Demba Ba’s old club Hoffenheim, his team finished 11th in the Bundesliga last term.
His growing reputation has led to a number of European clubs eyeing his signature and he definately wouldn’t come cheap – probably a fee of between £8-10 million would be required.
NATHANIEL CLYNE – CRYSTAL PALACE
A highly-rated young full-back….and English. He has the pace and power to give us an added dimension in attack. Due to his age, any transfer would involve a tribunal. I would definately welcome his addition and would love to see him progress at Newcastle. One for the now and the future – Clyne on the right, Santon on the left – lovely.
ATSUTO UCHIDA – FC SCHALKE 04
With his contract running out at the end of next season, I wouldn’t consider it impossible for Newcastle to persuade this exciting right-back, capped 44 times for Japan, to swap the Bundesliga for the Premier League. Quick and nimble, Uchida is able to support his forward players effectivelt in attack as well as defend assuredly.
Newcastle have not yet entered the far-eastern market and Uchida would surely be a shrewd move on Mike Ashley’s part.
One major disadvantage is that his club qualified for the Champions League last season so Uchida would have to take a step down with us. Cabaye did it though…
CÉSAR AZPILICUETA – OlYMPIQUE MARSEILLE
With youth, dynamism and an awesome name to boot, the 22-year old Spaniard Azpilicueta has a great future ahead of him. Capped at every level apart from senior for Spain, he will doubtless be a star at the top level in the future. He was signed by Marseille in 2010 for around €7 million and might cost twice as much to prise him away.
With OM having a very disappointing season finishing 10th in Ligue 1, Azpilicueta might see a move away as the next step in his career. We could offer him European football but he is very highly-rated and maybe Newcastle would not be able to compete with the big clubs for this player. Surely worth a mention though!