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Newcastle United Opinion: Patrick Erras would be an underwhelming signing

According to claims from German publication Bild, Newcastle United have been linked with a move for Nurnberg midfielder Patrick Erras, with manager Rafael Benitez reportedly looking to bolster his midfield options.

The same report claims that a host of clubs in Germany and England are interested in snapping up the 24-year-old in a bargain deal at the end of the season, with Nurnberg fighting for their lives in the Bundesliga and Erras out of contract in 2020.

A product of Nurnberg’s youth system, Erras made his debut in the German second tier in the 2015-16 season and played a key role in the club’s promotion-winning campaign in the Bundesliga 2 last season. However, the holding midfielder has managed only 8 starts in his first season in the top flight and has failed to live up to the expectations.

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Meanwhile, Newcastle should make it a top priority to convince manager Rafael Benitez to sign a new contract at Tyneside following a series of impressive results.

The Magpies currently find themselves 15th in the standings, 10 points clear of the relegation zone, and Benitez deserves all the credit for turning the club’s fortunes around after a calamitous start to the season.

Newcastle have shown strong signs of promise under the stewardship of Benitez in the second half of the campaign and the hierarchy need to provide the manager with ample funds to build a squad capable of challenging for better things in the Premier League.

They have done well to beat the drop this time around but a club of Newcastle’s stature should look beyond just avoiding relegation.

Benitez is likely to bring in a few fresh faces to add depth to his midfield options if he stays beyond the current season. Isaac Hayden has been an influential presence for the Magpies in the midfield, while youngster Sean Longstaff showcased his ability to make an impact at the highest level before being sidelined with an injury.

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Hayden, though, looks likely to depart the club due to family issues (h/t Sun) and the futures of Jonjo Shelvey and Mo Diame are still very much up in the air. Shelvey has lost his place in the first-team and has been linked with a move to West Ham, while the club is reluctant to meet Diame’s demand for a long-term contract (h/t Daily Star).

With Diame, Shelvey and Hayden facing uncertain futures at Tyneside, Newcastle would need to dip into the transfer window for alternatives.

However, Patrick Erras is not the kind of player who would give Newcastle an upgrade on either of their existing options.

The German has failed to nail down a regular starting spot in a relegation-threatened club and it is hard to see how would be an ideal replacement for someone like Hayden, who has been a tireless worker and a key contributor for the Magpies in central midfield.

Erras is still young and might be available for a measly amount in the summer but Newcastle should look at better players if they really want to challenge for a top-half finish next term.

Moreover, Erras has an unimpressive pass accuracy percentage of 74.8 in the Bundesliga, which wouldn’t please too many fans at Tyneside. The German has shown nothing to convince that he can be a first-team Premier League player at a mid-table club and making a move for him would make little sense for Newcastle.

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Newcastle should look to invest in proven Premier League players or promising youngsters who have made an impression elsewhere in a bid to bolster their ranks. That said, they should drop their interest in the struggling German midfielder.

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