Why signing £8m star Kalidou Koulibaly would significantly boost Newcastle’s survival hopes

Newcastle Utd - Gate

Newcastle United have been linked with Kalidou Koulibaly.

Newcastle United enter the New Year in a rather precarious position, occupying 18th position in the Premier League table and two points adrift of safety.

It hasn’t been the best of starts for boss Steve McClaren, with superb victories over Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur overshadowed by heavy defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester City.

Newcastle have an abundance of talent going forward, yet their deficiencies at the back are evident as 34 goals conceded in 19 games is without doubt the sort of tally which sees a team relegated.

The Magpies need to bolster their defensive ranks in January, and one player who would represent a fine option is Napoli’s commanding centre-half Kalidou Koulibaly.

According to Sky Sports, Newcastle are interested in signing the player and considering he has a release clause in his contract standing at just £8 million, a bargain is undoubtedly there to be had.

   Tackles per GameInterceptions per GameClearances per GameAerial Duels Won per GameLong Balls per GamePasses per GamePass AccuracyAppearances
Kalidou Koulibaly Serie A 2.2 2.5 5.2 3.2 3.1 67.6 84.3% 13

As per the table above, the 24-year-old has been one of Serie A’s leading defenders this season as he contributes greatly in a number of key defensive areas.

Koulibaly stands at an imposing 6ft 5inches and is dominant in the air, strong in the tackle and excellent at reading the game – illustrated by his impressive 2.5 interceptions per league match.

A Senegalese international, the defender has plenty of experience despite his relatively young age and his stature and strength is well suited to the rigors of Premier League football.

Newcastle need a leader at the back who displays both assurance and consistency, and Koulibaly fits that description well though prizing him away from Napoli certainly won’t be easy.

The Italian giants currently sit second in the table, have European football to offer and are among the frontrunners to win the Scudetto this season in what is an exciting Serie A title race.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch