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Newcastle Linked With German Midfielder Tolgay Arslan

SSC Napoli v Besiktas JK - UEFA Champions League Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

Newcastle have been linked to German Midfielder Tolgay Arslan. Newcastle reportedly join Chelsea, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund in the chase for the Besiktas Midfielder.

The Midfielder will certainly not be brought in to score goals, but probably as a replacement for Isaac Hayden. Arslan is a defensive midfielder who can distribute the ball fairly well and retain possession in the midfield. He is essentially what we hope Mikel Merino can develop into. The addition of him in the midfield would allow Shelvey to go forward and would allow the attack to develop with out him or a winger dropping back to receive the ball from our back line.

Looking at his stats for this season, it is evident his role with Besiktas is a defensive one, as he has no goals in 34 appearances, and takes than less shot per game.

Besiktas JK v Liverpool FC - UEFA Europa League Round of 32
The German would be an absolute upgrade to the midfield
Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Where the German shines is in his passing ability. He has a pass completion rate of 89.6%, which is lower than his total last season which was at 91% . That of course is nothing to scoff at, especially considering that is far better than both Hayden and Merino this season who’s percentages are at 76% and 79% respectively. Arslan also passes the ball far more than hHayden and Merino, a testament to how involved in Besiktas’ play he is. He passes the balzl roughly 50 times a game which is more than double the time Hayden does (22 times a game) and far more than Merino (35 times a game). Breaking down his actual passing types you can see even more proof that Arslan plays smart safe passes. Out of the roughly 46 short passes he plays per game only 4 on average are in accurate. Even looking at his long balls, you can see the same level of skill as he attempts roughly 5 long balls a game, and only one of those is usually inaccurate. It is safe to say that Arslan would be an upgrade in the midfield alongside Shelvey. He has the passing ability to allow Shelvey to go forward and attack, which he would much rather do than defend.

Looking at Arslan’s defensive stats it is clear that he would fit right in with this midfield. He is averaging roughly 2 tackles a game, which is nothing to super impressive, but it is around the same amount of tackles everyone else he would be competing with makes. What is really interesting about the German is that he only had 2 yellow cards last season with Besiktas. He is a very disciplined player, who unlike a lot of Newcastle players is not likely to get booked. He does foul almost 2 times a game, but it obviously does not equate to an undisciplined player, as like I said his 2 fouls a game has only lead to 2 yellow cards last season. This of course could be because English referees are soft, and it could be that if he makes the trip to England that he would be booked more often.

The biggest concern, as always, would be if he could adjust to Premier League football. Having started his career in the Bundesliga, and having played in the Champions League this season I would imagine that the adjustment to the Premier League would not be tough for him. His play style of being a box to box distributer should mesh up well with Premier League football. His gritty Turkish League attitude would surely make him a fan favorite like fellow eastern European league recruit Aleksander Mitrovic. The fact that Chelsea are also keen on the German should indicate that there is an opinion that he would do well in the Premier League

He is valued at £6.3million per transfermarkt, but of course would probably cost north of £10million. Be sure to check out his highlights below, where you can see some of his insane passing, and ridiculous defensive covers.

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