Newcastle United have seemingly made their first signing of the window as Belgian media report Jordan Lukaku, brother of Romelu, has arrived on loan from Lazio for the rest of the season. The reports also say that the club have included an option to buy him for £19.1 million at the end of the loan – a deal which would make him the Magpies’ record signing should it be triggered.
Unlike his older brother, Jordan doesn’t play as a forward, but as a defender – a left-back to be more specific. He arrives on Tyneside having started just one game in Serie A this season after a knee injury hampered the first half of his season.
What role will he fill?
Winger Matt Ritchie has been filling in at the left-wing back position recently whilst Paul Dummett has been struggling with fitness. Rafael Benitez’s side have been rolling out a five at the back formation in recent games with Ritchie left and Yedlin right – Lukaku would take Ritchie’s role.
As I’m sure most of you know, Matt Ritchie is a right winger by trade. In fairness to the Scot, he’s put in a host of impressive performances on the left side of defence despite being out of position. Newcastle are short on attacking options at the moment and Benitez will be thankful he can once again use Ritchie in his natural position.
Lukaku has been at Italian side Lazio since 2016 and in his time there he has shown a lot of ability. He is a pacey, attacking full-back who is more than accustomed to playing as a wing-back in a back five. He will offer Newcastle an extra dimension on the left side going forward, as well being a very astute defender. He is somewhat comparable to the Magpies’ other full-back, DeAndre Yedlin, in his style of play.
Newcastle’s transfer business
As we reported yesterday, Newcastle were heavily linked with a loan move for Atletico Madrid winger Gelson Martins. Predictably, that hasn’t materialised and the player has opted to join French side Monaco.
This comes after The Times reported just two days ago that Rafa Benitez is prepared to leave the club this Summer if his transfer requests are not met. They have also been heavily linked with Atlanta United attacking midfielder, Miguel Almiron. The Times report stated Rafa wants him (Almiron) and one more signing by the end of the window – well he seems to have acquired the “one more”.
As if Newcastle needed more reasons to dislike their owner, it was revealed today that the club are the 19th richest in the world. If that’s the case, where is the money? Where is the investment? Why are they only pursuing loan deals? Mr Ashley has a lot to answer for.