Why Newcastle United must make a move for Braga’s Ricardo Horta
In January, Portuguese newspaper O Jogo (h/t The Daily Mail) had claimed that Newcastle United were interested in signing Braga winger Ricardo Horta. However, no deal materialized and he stayed put with the Portuguese club.
Newcastle United made just loan signings during the January transfer window, adding the likes of Nabil Bentaleb, Valentino Lazaro and Danny Rose to the squad. However, Steve Bruce failed to address the most pressing issue of his team, i.e. scoring goals.
The Magpies have managed to score only 24 goals in 28 games. A lack of goals has also seen a massive dip in form, with Bruce’s side winning just once in their last five games.
Apart from scoring goals, Newcastle have also lacked creativity in the final third often, with Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin blowing hot and cold. Thus, in addition to a centre-forward, Bruce should lookout for a wide-man in the summer. Having said that, the Magpies must rekindle their interest in Ricardo Horta.
Horta, 25, spent the 2016/17 season on loan with Braga from Malaga and impressed with nine goals in 44 games across all competitions. His consistent performances during the loan spell saw Braga turn his loan move into a permanent deal.
The one-cap Portugal international has been a key figure for Braga since arriving at the club and netted a last-minute strike against Porto to help his club lift the Portuguese cup earlier this season. In fact, he has netted 22 goals and supplied 13 assists combined in the last two seasons.
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Horta has starred this term with 18 goals and seven assists in 40 appearances across all competitions. A left-winger by trade, he is also comfortable playing on the right or in an advanced role in midfield. Such versatility could be of huge help for the Magpies boss Bruce.
Having really struggled to find a regular source of goals this term, it is clear that Newcastle need attacking reinforcements this summer. A player like Horta would add depth to Newcastle’s attacking ranks, whilst bringing competition within the squad.