As Newcastle United continue to progress under Eddie Howe’s studious leadership, the club need to be looking to back their manager in the transfer market if they want to progress further, and to that end, a bid is likely to be forthcoming for an exciting left-back who has some disciplinary issues, but none that Howe can’t sort out.
According to transfer expert, Graeme Bailey, co-writing for 90Min, Bayer Leverkusen’s Mitchel Bakker, a player who the Magpies have apparently been tracking for ages, remains on their agenda for this summer as Howe wants a younger and more dynamic player on the left side of defence, rather than continuing to have Dan Burn filling in.
When Bakker signed for Leverkusen from PSG, Bundesliga.com noted the words of Rudi Voeller, the club’s sporting director:
“Mitchel Bakker combines athletic qualities such as pace and strength in challenges with footballing ability. He is a modern full-back with a strong desire to get forward and he’ll help our team,” he said.
Whilst that description would match the kind of profile for a player that Howe enjoys working with, a note of caution was sounded by well-respected German league commentator, Derek Rae, when tweeting German magazine, Kicker’s comments on the player:
Kicker not holding back on Leverkusen’s Mitchel Bakker. Headline is “ Footballer by occupation but not a professional.”
It scolds Bakker for sleeping late for a 3rd time since Nov & missing the final training session before the win over Hertha.
— Derek Rae (@RaeComm) March 9, 2023
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Newcastle have become a solid group under Howe, and the manager can ill afford to have a player not deemed to be ‘professional’ enough in the Magpies ranks.
Equally, keeping Dan Burn from central defence is a criminal waste of his talents, so a decision arguably needs to be made soonest.