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Diego Laxalt would be the perfect January business for Newcastle

According to the Calciomercato, Newcastle have made an enquiry about the availability of AC Milan’s Uruguayan international midfielder Diego Laxalt.

The Calciomercato claims that the Magpies haven’t made an official bid yet but they are expected to come up with a substantial offer very soon.

Laxalt, who was a part of Uruguay’s squad that took part at the 2018 FIFA World Cup at Russia, made his move to the San Siro this summer and has a good rapport with manager Gennaro Gattuso but Newcastle are prepared to test his resolve. (h/t Calciomercato)

The 25-year-old Uruguayan is known for his versatility to play in multiple positions in the midfield. While he is essentially a left-midfielder by trade, Laxalt is equally adept at playing left-back and can even play as a winger on the left. He is not an inverted winger but a more conventional left-footed midfielder who likes to operate down the wide areas.

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Laxalt’s main attributes are his pace, power, strength, drive and determination. He has a decent technique with above-average dribbling skills but his passing and aerial ability still have some room for improvement. However, he likes to keep the ball at his feet and pass it around quickly, drawing the defenders out from their positions in the wide areas to open up spaces for his teammates.

Laxalt is also a very good reader of the game who excels with his crossing abilities. The 25-year-old is a utility player who has the ability to set up goals with his pinpoint crossing, something that can bring the best out of a centre-forward like Salomon Rondon at Newcastle. To add to that, he is physically very strong and he combines his tenacity with his game reading ability to cut out the attacks with crucial tackles and interceptions.

To put things into perspective, he would be an excellent signing for Newcastle based on the fact that he would not only be an upgrade on the more defensive-minded left-back Paul Dummett but would also provide an extra attacking outlet down the left.

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Newcastle have managed climb out of the relegation zone after a calamitous start to the season and the Magpies currently sit 15th in the standings, just a couple of points clear of Southampton in the bottom three. Quite clearly, Rafael Benitez’s men still have a lot of work to do in the second half of the season if they are to avoid the drop.

While Newcastle have a miserable goalscoring record this season, stability at the back is the key factor that has kept their hopes alive. Benitez has opted to go in with a back three system in recent weeks and someone like Diego Laxalt, who is very much a balanced player, can fill in the role of a wing-back in place of Matt Ritchie. This, in turn, will improve Newcastle’s squad depth and team dynamics.

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As things stand, Newcastle have only one specialist left-back in Dummett and the manager has been forced to deploy Javier Manquillo and Ciaran Clark in an unfamiliar position on the left. Hence, the availability of Laxalt can solve that issue as well.

That said, Newcastle should go all out to land the Uruguayan in January to boost their chances of survival.

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