Why Newcastle should not pursue a move for Odysseas Vlachodimos
As per the report, the Magpies are expected to open talks with Benfica over a potential deal for the Greek international but it remains to be seen whether the Premier League club would be keen to meet an asking price of £13million for the goalkeeper.
Born in Stuttgart, Germany, to parents of Greek descent, Odysseas Vlachodimos rose through the youth ranks of VfB Stuttgart and largely featured for the club’s reserve team in the third tier.
The 26-year-old made only three first-team appearances for his boyhood club before moving to Greece with Panathinaikos. He established himself as a regular starter in goal there and spent two full seasons.
Vlachodimos earned a move to Benfica back in the summer of 2018 and went on to play a key role as the Portuguese giants won the 2018-19 Primeira Liga title. The 6ft 2in shot-stopper has carved out a big reputation in the Portuguese top-flight, managing an impressive 37 clean sheets in 95 appearances for Benfica in all competitions.
Newcastle should focus on strengthening other areas
Odysseas Vlachodimos has proven his worth as a quality shot-stopper at Benfica, both on the domestic front and in European competitions. Plus, he still has his best years ahead of him at 26, so the Greek international offers good value for money in the market.
With that in mind, however, he’s not someone who should be a top priority for Newcastle in the transfer window this summer. In Martin Dubravka, the Magpies already have one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League and it’s evident from the statistics. He kept 11 clean sheets last season and made a total of 140 saves for the season (highest in the league). Mark Gillespie and Karl Darlow are also present in the squad to provide cover for the Slovakian.
Vlachodimos boasts a better profile than the likes of Gillespie and Darlow though. While he could be an upgrade on Newcastle’s back-up options, there are other pressing concerns as far as the Magpies are concerned.
Steve Bruce’s side scored just 38 goals, while conceding as many as 58 en route to their 13th-place finish in the Premier League last term. Those numbers clearly epitomise the need to bring in significant reinforcements at both ends of the pitch, especially in front of goal. Newcastle clearly seem to lack adequate firepower there.
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From the above discussion, it’s pretty clear that spending £13million on Odysseas Vlachodimos is a luxury that Newcastle simply don’t need right now. Having said that, Bruce might be better off looking for options in the market to bolster other areas of his squad this summer.