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Newcastle United Opinion: Benitez should move for Andreas Samaris

Back in January, a report from the Chronicle Live claimed that Newcastle United were interested in signing Andreas Samaris from Benfica. However, a move to the Premier League never materialized for the Greek international and he stayed put in Portugal.

The Magpies had also shown an interest in Samaris back in the summer of 2017, with reports claiming that the Tyneside club wanted to acquire his services for £17.6 million. (h/t Chronicle Live)

However, Newcastle would not have to break the bank to sign him if Rafael Benitez chooses to reignite his interest in the summer, as the midfielder is out of contract at the end of the season.

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Samaris made his move to Benfica back in 2014 from Greek giants Olympiacos and has made a total of 152 appearances for the Eagles in all competitions, helping the club win three league titles and a multitude of domestic honours.

However, the 29-year-old has never been able to establish himself as a regular starter, and things haven’t gone according to the script for him this season either, with Samaris playing a bit-part role in the first-team.

To put things into perspective, Newcastle United should look to reignite their interest in the defensive midfielder as they face the risk of losing some of their existing first team options at the end of the season.

Rafael Benitez has somehow steered the club to safety in the Premier League this term but he needs to build a squad that is more capable of challenging for a top-ten finish than just avoiding relegation.

Former Arsenal academy product Isaac Hayden has established himself as a regular face in the middle of the park and has impressed with his solid performances, but he might be heading for the exit door come the end of the season due to family issues (h/t Chronicle Live).

Mo Diame has also been linked with Crystal Palace and he might leave at the end of the season, with the Magpies reluctant to offer him a long-term contract at the age of 31.

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Benitez would be left with Jonjo Shelvey, Ki-sung Yueng and the young and impressive Sean Longstaff as options in central midfield should Diame and Hayden depart. And that is exactly where an experienced head like Samaris would fit into the manager’s plans.

The 29-year-old is physically strong and technically sound, whilst also boasting of good pace and possessing enough agility to make an impact in the Premier League.

Samaris is a good passer of the game, excels with his ball retention skills and also has the ability to cut out attacks with crucial tackles and interceptions.

Renowned as an enforcer in the middle of the park, the Greek international has high levels of energy and a good understanding of the game. He is not one of those players who racks up too many goals and assists but he contributes a lot with his calmness and composure in possession, often acting as a shield for the rearguard.

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Suffice to say, Newcastle United would do themselves a world of good by reigniting their interest in the hugely experienced defensive midfielder and they might as well strike gold by snapping him up as a free agent in the summer.

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