Newcastle United tried and failed to bring Lazio’s Serie A outcast Durmisi to the Premier League under Rafa Benitez.
Football is a fickle business.
Just two years ago, Riza Durmisi was the toast of the transfer market, seemingly on his way to the Premier League after spending the last ten months flying down the flanks at Real Betis. Now, as we hurtle towards the January transfer window, one of the biggest clubs in Serie A just can’t wait to get him out the door.
According to Calciomercato, Lazio are willing to listen to offers of just over £3 million for the Denmark international, who has not made a single appearance in all competitions this season for Simone Inzaghi’s side. The writing has been on the wall for a while now, if truth be told.
The fact that Durmisi made played a grand total of ten league games in his debut season at the Stadio Olimpico suggests that he became an afterthought almost immediately after touching down in the Italian capital.
This is a far cry from the summer of 2017, when the rampaging left-back was a man in demand. According to the Northern Echo, a Newcastle United then preparing for life back in the big time under Rafa Benitez were discussing a £10 million deal for Durmisi.
Benitez might be long gone now but his predecessor, Steve Bruce, shares the Spaniard’s love for a full-back who can put a ball on a sixpence. So much of Newcastle’s attacking threat comes down the flanks under Bruce but behind Jetro Willems, who can join permanently from Frankfurt for £10 million, there is a lack of real depth in a specialist left-wing back position.
Paul Dummett is far more comfortable in a back three after all. So maybe a move to Newcastle, at £7 million less than the fee he would have cost two years ago, would come at the perfect time for Durmisi as he looks to get his career back on track.
He’s fast, technically gifted, an excellent crosser of the ball and, listen up Mike Ashley, cheap – what more could you want from a wing-back?