Newcastle United have made enquiries over a summer move for Bayer Leverkusen star Moussa Diaby, according to The Daily Telegraph.
What’s the latest Newcastle United transfer news?
While it’s set to be an interesting summer at St James’ Park, the opening few weeks of planning for next season are said to have been difficult. Luke Edwards has revealed the club have been quoted “ridiculous” prices for targets, a problem Newcastle could have to get used to given their resources.
Eddie Howe, meanwhile, has moved to temper expectations as to the level of summer spending amid FFP concerns. That, however, does not mean the club are not showing ambition and the likes with Diaby – reportedly valued at around £40m – are exciting.
Understood to feature highly on the club’s transfer wish-list, Transfermarkt reporter Stefan Bienkowski suggested the chances of the French forward leaving for an English club with deep pockets was “50/50”.
Who is Moussa Diaby and what is his style of play?
A product of the famous Paris Saint-Germain academy, the 22-year-old was born in the French capital and broke into their first-team in September 2018.
Life at PSG, however, proved difficult and Diaby only made 34 appearances across all competitions for the French giants before leaving for Leverkusen in 2019.
In Germany, the forward has excelled.
124 games have yielded 35 goals and 37 assists, including 13 and 12 respectively this season. Able to operate across the frontline, Diaby himself has said “I like high-intensity games with lots of chances and lots of space.”
A left-footed winger capable of cutting in on the right, Diaby’s stats (via FBREF) rank very highly across Europe. On a per-game basis, the 5-cap France star ranks within the continent’s leading 92% of attackers playing across the big five leagues over the past year for non-penalty goals (0.45) and assists (0.40).
What has been said about Moussa Diaby?
A profile piece on the Bundesliga’s official website in 2020 compared Diaby to Bayern Munich legend Arjen Robben.
“Despite being more like a less squat version of Xherdan Shaqiri in stature, Diaby has more in common with Bayern Munich legend Robben.
“For starters, the Frenchman is comfortable on his natural left-hand side, or in the inverted wing role synonymous with the Flying Dutchman’s 10-year stint in the Bundesliga. He also has dribbling skills to bring opposition defenders to their knees, a cultured left foot and the capability to shatter land speed records.
“Don’t be surprised if he one day eclipses Rocking Robben as the fastest footballer on the planet. The current record, set by Robben at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, is 23mph.”