Manchester United should target this Newcastle star, says ex-Liverpool midfielder

Fabricio Coloccini

Don Hutchison says that Manchester United should consider a bid for Newcastle captain Fabrizio Coloccini.

Newcastle United had a cloud over them early this season, with fans protesting against the continued reign of unpopular manager Alan Pardew.

And whilst it took two months for the Magpies to land their first win of the season, that 1-0 victory over Leicester has sparked a resurgence.

Wins over Tottenham, Manchester City, Liverpool and West Brom have followed, catapulting Newcastle up the table, leaving them just two points off the top four.

It's an unlikely turnaround from a team who were in turmoil earlier this season, but one of the keys has been captain Fabrizio Coloccini, who scored Newcastle's second goal in that win against West Brom.

The Argentine had a tough start to life after signing from Deportivo La Coruna in 2008, but has become an integral part of the Newcastle side in recent years, and the 32-year-old has made over 200 appearances for the club now.

Last season, he seemingly wanted to leave the club for a return to former club San Lorenzo in Argentina, and whilst he chose to stay at St. James' Park, former Liverpool midfielder Don Hutchison - a North East native - told the Evening Chronicle that Manchester United should be considering signing Coloccini.

"Coloccini is so important to Newcastle," said Hutchison. "He might not be your typical Premier League captain in terms of him talking and tub thumping but I think he influences the rest of the team by the way he plays. If he’s playing well, Newcastle are playing well. If he’s not quite ‘at it’, the whole team seems to go down a level or three."

"I wonder if a Manchester United or someone like that might take a look at Coloccini in January and it would be interesting to see what Newcastle would do in that situation. He’s probably the one player in that team with the exception of Moussa Sissoko who the top teams would take from Newcastle at the moment," he added.

United are in desperate need for a new centre back, even after Louis van Gaal splashed out £16m on Coloccini's compatriot Marcos Rojo.

Van Gaal has seen Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans and even Rojo sidelined through injury, forcing reserve Paddy McNair to play, and pushing Michael Carrick or Daley Blind into defence - btoh of whom are also injured now.

A strong and experienced defender is needed to lead the United defence, and whilst Aston Villa's Ron Vlaar has been linked, Coloccini is another name to add to the list.

It's not the calibre of defender United fans are used to seeing, but Vlaar and Coloccini are both uncompromising defenders who can come in and perform immediately - and that's something United need.

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