Opinion: Newcastle signing this promising 21-year-old would be a smart move by Bruce


Why Stephane Diarra would be a smart addition to Newcastle United

Back in November 2019, French publication L’Equipe (h/t The Scottish Sun) had claimed that Newcastle United were one of the clubs interested in Le Mans midfielder Stephane Diarra.

Stephane Diarra 1
Le Mans’ French forward Stephane Diarra (L) vies with Paris Saint-Germain’s French forward Kylian Mbappe (R) during the French League Cup round of sixteen football match between Le Mans FC and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), on December 18, 2019, at the MMArena Stadium, in Le Mans, northwestern France. (Photo by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP) (Getty Images)

Stephane Diarra, 21, has impressed with his performances in the Ligue 2 this season, registering three goals and as many assists in 23 games. He was on loan at Le Mans from Rennes last season, making 31 league appearances to help the side to the Ligue 2 play-offs while scoring three times.

With the Ivorian one of the top young talents of Ligue 2 football and having enjoyed a solid season with Le Mans, Newcastle United must reignite their interest in him when the transfer window opens this summer.

The Magpies have struggled for majority of the season and currently sit 13th in the standings, eight points clear of the relegation zone. They have scored just 25 goals in 29 games, which is unimpressive.

After breaking the club-transfer record by signing Joelinton from Hoffenheim last summer (h/t The Guardian), Newcastle signed Nabil Bentaleb, Valentino Lazaro and Danny Rose — all on loan — during the January transfer window. However, there haven’t been any significant improvements in the final third of the pitch.

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce reacts angrily on the touchline. (Getty Images)
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce reacts angrily on the touchline. (Getty Images)

If Bruce wants the club to improve next term, the midfield and attacking departments require some serious reinforcing. The midfield has been a weak link for the Toon Army, with Isaac Hayden being the only consistent performer. Jonjo Shelvey has endured an injury-hit campaign, while Sean Longstaff and Matty Longstaff have been in and out of the team.

To put things into perspective, Bruce needs more energy and invention in the midfield to ease the burden on his forwards. And Diarra would be a viable option for the Magpies to consider.

A right midfielder by trade, the 21-year-old can also operate in an advanced role down the wide areas. This would be helpful for the Magpies boss to play him in different positions according to the demand. With three goals and three assists this season for Le Mans, the Franco-Ivorian would be a good option to add much-needed goals from midfield which Newcastle have sorely missed.

Stephane Diarra
Le Mans’ French midfielder Gussouma Fofana (L) and French forward Stephane Diarra (R) celebrate aftre winning the French Ligue Cup round of 32 football match between Le Mans FC and OGC Nice on October 30, 2019 in Le Mans. (Photo by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP) (Getty Images)

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The Magpies’ midfield is in urgent need of reinforcements, considering the resources they have at their disposal right now. Diarra has proven his quality in Ligue 2 after putting in several top displays for Le Mans and if he is able to reproduce that for Newcastle, he would be a valuable asset to the team.


Diarra has been in good form for Le Mans and at 21, the midfielder has a long way to go in his career. Therefore, Newcastle must make no mistake in their pursuit of Diarra and bring him to St. James’ Park in the summer.