Newcastle United are enjoying a phenomenal Premier League campaign so far and Eddie Howe will be thrilled with the progress his squad has made since he joined the club when they were in the relegation zone in November 2021.
The Magpies are currently third in the top flight after losing just one game ahead of the World Cup break and the manager will be hoping that his side can continue to bask in their outstanding form when they return to action after Christmas.
Qualifying for Champions League football this season would not have been in the wildest dreams of even the most optimistic Newcastle supporter ahead of the current campaign, but could now become a very comfortable reality for the club especially if they take advantage of the January transfer window next month.
Adding depth to the wide forward role has been reported as a target for the North East giants when the market reopens and one player who has been linked with a move to St James’ Park is Chelsea forward Christian Pulisic, with reports suggesting the club are ready to make him their next statement signing.
Pulisic, who could cost £35m, hasn’t been able to get feature consistently in the starting line up at Stamford Bridge over his time there and now Howe could offer him the opportunity to help Newcastle secure their top-four spot over the second half of the season.
The talented 24-year-old – who was dubbed “world-class” by Frank Khalid – has averaged just 57 minutes per performance over 113 appearances for Chelsea, scoring 26 goals and registering 21 assists with a goal contribution every 162 minutes.
Not only that, Pulisic has more recently been representing the USMNT at the World Cup in Qatar, helping his team to progress to the round of 16 knock-out stages in the prestigious international tournament.
Over four appearances, the winger was in tremendous form, scoring one goal and delivering two assists.
He won the Man of the Match award when the American’s faced off against England, with the former Borussia Dortmund man making life rather difficult for the Toon’s Kieran Trippier, as he attempted three dribbles, hit the woodwork and made a key passes.
In total, Pulisic averaged 2.3 key passes, 2.3 shots on goal, one successful dribble and won 4.8 duels per game during his time in Qatar, proving that he has been a huge attacking threat for his nation.
With those statistics in mind, Howe could even land Newcastle their next version of Hatem Ben Arfa.
The American attacker is extremely versatile in his positioning on the pitch just like the former Magpies hero, who could play attacking midfield and both sides of the wide forward roles, something Pulisic is comfortable doing too.
It is with the ball at their feet where they are most comparable, with the Chelsea ace performing a career seasonal high of 2.4 dribbles per match in the 2017/18 Bundesliga campaign. By way of comparison, Ben Arfa’s highest tally was as many as 4.5 during a game in 2015/16 with Nice.
With that being said, it’s clear they are both beautiful technicians capable of producing a bit of magic in the final third.
Thus, the signing of Pulisic would be a great piece of business for Newcastle and if they could secure his signature in the new year it could be a great boost for the attacking threat at St James’ Park over the second half of the season.
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