An update has emerged on PSG centre-back Abdou Diallo, regarding interest from Newcastle United…
What’s the talk?
According to Foot Mercato, the Magpies are showing an interest in the defender as Eddie Howe plots his targets for the January window.
The report claims that Diallo is happy at PSG, where he was signed for £26.8m (€32m) in 2019, and it remains to be seen whether or not he would be open to leaving.
Howe’s new Ake
Howe developed Netherlands international Nathan Ake into being good enough for Pep Guardiola to want him at Manchester City and he could find his next central defensive prospect in Diallo.
Ake played 121 times for Bournemouth after joining Howe there at the age of 21 before signing for Manchester City in the summer of 2020. He has since won the Premier League and League Cup with the Cityzens.
Diallo, however, is similar to the Dutchman. Both are classic modern-day defenders who can play a multitude of roles on the pitch. Ake has played left-back, centre-back and holding midfield throughout his career, whilst the current Magpies target has also played on both sides of a centre-back partnership and at left-back for PSG and Dortmund.
The French defender has started seven games for PSG in Ligue 1 this season and averaged a WhoScored rating of 7.15. He has averaged 3.0 tackles and interceptions per game, with all of his appearances coming at left-back. This is why a move to Newcastle could be tempting, as Howe could offer him the chance to play centre-back on a regular basis – the position he has played the most in his career – rather than solely on the left side.
Speaking about him in detail, Dortmund director Michael Zorc once said: “He’s a modern player who’s good on the ball and is a very intelligent centre-back. He can also play at full-back or in defensive midfield. This combination of potential and versatility is what made him so interesting to us.”
His performances for the French giants in a less-favoured position show the quality he could provide to the Magpies. He has shown that he can put in consistently strong displays at full-back, which suggests that he could thrive if played in the middle instead.
That is why Howe could find his new Ake if PIF are able to secure a deal for Diallo in January. He is a similar profile to the Dutchman and has the potential to be a Premier League performer.