The Athletic journalist Chris Waugh has delivered his verdict on Newcastle United’s reported interest in Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka.
According to a report in the Times, the Magpies are interested in making a move for the unsettled 78 cap Swiss international.
But Waugh has questioned whether a swoop would be a prudent decision.
Writing in a Q&A for The Athletic, he said: “It wasn’t a name I had heard Newcastle were interested in until I woke up this morning and, I have to be honest, with the council hearing this morning, I haven’t had the chance to fully check it out.
“What I would say is Bruce has been looking to bring in another midfielder, and preferably one with experience.
“I’m not convinced Xhaka would be the answer, mind.”
You’d be inclined to agree with Waugh on this one for a few reasons. Firstly, Xhaka wouldn’t come cheap. Even if a deal could be struck with Arsenal to snap him up for a discounted fee, the Swiss enforcer is currently on a wage of £100,000-a-week, as per Spotrac. According to Football Insider, £80,000-a-week is currently the Magpies’ upper limit on wages, and as such even with a significant pay cut, Xhaka would still be a top earner. Furthermore, the Toon Army have a whole heap of central midfielders. With the two Longstaff brother, Jonjo Shelvey, and Isaac Hayden all jostling for a first team spot, you could argue that Xhaka would be a luxury signing for a side that tend not to deal in such things. Finally, the midfielder is a bit of a hothead. With 29 yellow cards and two dismissals during his time in the Premier League, as per the league themselves, he has a dangerous streak that, frankly, the Toon Army don’t need.