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What would Diego Laxalt bring to Newcastle United?

Diego Laxalt was signed by Inter Milan from his home town club Defensor Sporting in summer 2013. He was one of many players Inter picked up from South America that summer, hedging their bets that one of the talented prospects would ‘blow up’. Laxalt was not one of those prospects. After three years in Milan, including three loan spells at Bologna, Empoli and Genoa, Laxalt made the permanent move to the latter, with Argentine international Cristian Ansaldi going the other way.

Genoa’s style of football, similar to Newcastle’s, suited Diego perfectly and allowed him to flourish. Playing as an attacking fullback, Laxalt put teasing crosses in for Giovanni Simeone and Macedonian Goran Pandev, whilst also completing his defensive duties, averaging two tackles and one interception per game in his two-year spell with Genoa.

Image result for laxalt v torino
90+4: Laxalt got his first and second goal for Genoa in a 3-3 draw v Torino.

Although Diego Laxalt only directly created 11 goals in 68 games (4 goals, 7 assists), that’s not an entirely poor return for a left-back. I’m sure Newcastle wouldn’t be mind if he chipped in with half of that this season.

The Uruguayan has struggled since his £12m move back to Milan, but this time in the form of Inter’s rivals AC Milan. Gennaro Gattuso has used him sparingly, only making 13 league appearances this season, nine from the bench. This could be why both Laxalt and Milan are quite happy to part ways. The wide man gets his game time, whilst Gattuso gets some of the wage bill freed up. A win-win.

Style of Play

Diego Laxalt is one of the last true bastions of the old-fashioned winger. Defensively secure, Diego plies his trade on the left-hand side of the midfield, piling lethal crosses into the area for his centre-forward (in his case Patrick Cutrone) to attack. He also possesses the versatility to go into left-back, which could become useful should Newcastle United decide to sign him. His bullet of a left foot makes him a constant threat from range and set-pieces, he really looks like a good bit of business to make.

Only rumoured to cost around £10m, the 25-year-old seems like a coup in this day and age, but it’s whether ‘that man’ can get his hands out his pockets and really drive Newcastle United forward.

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