The current season may not yet be behind us, but that hasn’t stopped the summer transfer window rumor mill from grinding on. Most recently, the Chronicle has reported that Newcastle United are interested in acquiring Malaga CF forward Sandro Ramirez.
Sandro, 21, joined Malaga on a free transfer from Barcelona in July of last year and has since contributed 13 goals in 27 league appearances, including six goals in his last six matches. Sandro is an especially dangerous player taking set pieces and shooting from distance, with 40% of his goals and more than half of his shot attempts coming from outside the penalty area this season. Sandro has also proven adept at holding possession, drawing fouls and playing off the shoulder of the last defender, leading to an overall skill set that would be incredibly useful in a season where striking on the counterattack and holding possession in the attacking third will be key to breaking Premier League defenses.
While primarily dispatched as a striker in a two-up-front pair for Malaga, Sandro has also been used as an inverted winger on the left side. This versatility would be valuable should Newcastle decide to keep Gayle up top as the preferred striking option and slide Sandro to the otherwise weak left flank. Sandro also has a £5.1 million release clause in his contract, providing good value.
As can be expected, Newcastle isn’t alone in their pursuit of the Malaga man – Tottenham also appear to have a strong interest (we’ve seen this movie before) with the likes of Liverpool and Southampton also taking note of his strong showing in La Liga this season. Still, if there’s hope that some of that Rafa charm can put Newcastle over the top, Sandro appears to be the type of player who can have Newcastle competing in every match in their return to the Premier League.