Arsenal are reportedly closing in on Newcastle United holding midfielder Cheick Tiote, according to reports in the Metro.
The Gunners are keen to bring in an anchorman to sit in front of the back-four and have been chasing Real Madrid ace Sami Khedira and Sporting Lisbon star William Carvalho all summer, but it seems they have instead turned their attentions to Tiote as an adequate alternative.
The report suggests Arsenal are hopeful of fending off interest from Russian club Lokomotiv to sign the combative Tiote. The midfielder looks destined to leave Tyneside this summer after instructing his agent to find him a new club.
It further states that Lokomotiv have seen an £8 million offer turned down and while Newcastle want him to stay, they would be willing to do business at £14 million. The Russian club are expected to return with a new offer, but the Gunners are set to make a bid of their own in the coming days, and believe it would be enough to get the deal done.
The 28 year old joined Newcastle United in 2010 and made an immediate impact on the squad, becoming a regular starter. He has made 107 Premier League appearances for the North East club since his move from Dutch side Twente. He also has 47 caps for Ivory Coast.
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Key Stats:(courtesy: Squawka.com)
Tiote made 33 appearances for Newcastle last season, completing the full ninety-minutes in 28 appearances. He attempted 179 tackles in the Premier League last season, winning 70 of them which represented a success rate of 39%. He completed 39/52 take ons in the league last season, which boasted a remarkable 75% success rate. His pass accuracy was just as astute, with his figure standing at an impressive 87%.
Style of Play:
He is an imposing presence on the pitch and is renowned for his physicality and swash-buckling capabilities. His reads the game well and while many have criticised him for his tendency to commit one too many fouls, he has a controlled aggression to his game.
He also possesses nimble footwork and that is highlighted in the way he strides past players continuously in the league. His positioning is one of the key attributes in his game and with every game he seems to be getting even better.
Should we Buy?
The Gunners are in desperate need of a defensive midfielder and Tiote might fit the description in terms of priorities and what he brings to the cause, but the Magpie isn’t of the standard that Arsenal are in need of. He is a good player for sure, but I doubt he would be an upgrade to any of the current players.
It would be better if we could concentrate our efforts on bringing either Khedira or Carvalho and if the club aren’t intent on buying a defensive midfielder this summer, it would be better to entrust Mikel Arteta with the duties once again and save the efforts for the winter or next summer.
Rumour Rater : 2/5
1 – Never going to happen
2 – Unlikely
3 – Could be possible
4 – Likely
5 – Done deal
Share your thoughts in the comments below.