Signing 11-goal playmaker Portu should be no-brainer for Newcastle United this summer

Girona FC players celebrate after their teammate Cristian 'Portu' scored the opening goal during the La Liga match between Barcelona and Girona at Camp Nou on February 24, 2018 in...

Newcastle United are in need of added creativity in their team.

Rafael Benitez, Manager of Newcastle United looks on prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Huddersfield Town at St. James Park on March 31, 2018 in Newcastle upon...

Newcastle United look set to consolidate their place in the Premier League for next season, and this summer they ought to push on and bring in the players which will help them achieve a top 10 spot.

Boss Rafa Benitez has effectively kept up a Championship side, one which has lacked a goal threat and averaged just 11.9 shots and a measly one goal per league encounter.

Defensively the Magpies have been well-drilled and tactically astute, traits you would associate with a Rafa Benitez side, but it is in the final third where they will look to really improve this summer.

Considering his ties to his native Spain, La Liga could be a valuable source of recruitment this summer and one player which would no doubt make a difference is Girona’s Cristian Portugues Manzanera.

Cristian 'Portu' of Girona FC celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the La Liga match between Barcelona and Girona at Camp Nou on February 24, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain.

Commonly known as Portu, the talented playmaker has been an absolute star for the Spanish minnows this season, scoring 11 goals and providing a further four assists from midfield.

Newcastle’s most creative player this season has been Scotland international winger Matt Ritchie, with two goals and five assists, while on-loan winger Kenedy has made a difference on the opposite flank.

But Benitez’s side are lacking creativity through the middle, and namely a number 10 when they wish to have a player roam between midfield and attack to link up the play.

Cristian 'Portu' of Girona FC plays the ball during the La Liga match between RCD Espanyol and Girona FC at RCDE Stadium on December 11, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.

Portu thrives in such a role, and what makes him more impressive is the hard graft he puts in out of possession, regularly closing down the opposition and harrying them into making mistakes.

The former Valencia youth team player netted eight goals and eight assists during Girona’s promotion season, and his debut campaign in La Liga couldn’t have gone much better as his side sit in the top eight.

With a release clause of just 12 million euros (roughly £10.5 million) as explained by Marca, he represents an absolute bargain in today’s market and a club like Newcastle would be daft not to sign him this summer.

 

Cristian 'Portu' of Girona FC scores his team's second goal during the La Liga match between Girona and Real Madrid at Estadi de Montilivi on October 29, 2017 in Girona, Spain.

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