Date: 12th June 2019 at 11:47am
Written by:

OPINION

Exiting the 2018/19 season it appeared clear that Newcastle United would be wise to seek upgrades at both full back positions this summer.

Manager Rafael Benitez favoured a five man defence with two full backs this campaign, but he chopped and changed at right back and his starter on the left was a winger by trade.

However, it seems that the club are looking to solve Benitez’s right back problem, at least. Portuguese outlet Record reported on Wednesday that the Magpies are battling Brighton & Hove Albion and Leicester City for Benfica right back Andre Almeida.

The 28-year-old is a terrific player, which is why he’s in such high demand, but you’d think that Newcastle might have the edge here. Leicester would only be signing him as a back up for Ricardo Pereira, while the Seagulls don’t have the same allure as Benitez’s team.

So if the Magpies make a serious bid for the player then they’d likely have a decent chance of bringing him in. Plus, he would be a huge upgrade on hapless Newcastle right back duo DeAndre Yedlin and Javier Manquillo.

The United States of America international was first choice for Benitez for much of the season, but a sharp decline in form saw him lose his place to the Spaniard down the stretch.

Manquillo did a decent job, but he’s no one’s idea of a Premier League starting-calibre right back. Almeida, though, is. The Portugal international is a consistent operator who has performed admirably at the highest level. Indeed, he was first choice for the Primeira Liga winners this campaign.

Newcastle must ensure they win this transfer battle and secure what would be a fantastic swoop for Almeida. He’d solve a serious problem position for Benitez.