Why Newcastle should look at Radu Dragusin as a long-term investment
Premier League rivals Tottenham and Bundesliga giants RB Leipzig are also understood to be hot on the trail of the teenage centre-back. Dragusin’s contract at Juventus is due to expire at the end of the season, putting several clubs on red alert. (h/t MSN)
As per the report, the Serie A title holders are keen to tie the Romanian down to fresh terms. But the centre-back could be tempted to move on in search of a quicker route to regular first-team football.
Born in Bucharest, the capital of Romania, Dragusin started his footballing education at Sportul Studentesc. He continued to hone his skills in the youth ranks of Regal Bucuresti after the dissolution of the former club before being snapped up by Juventus in 2018.
The centre-back established himself as a key component of Juventus’ U-17 side while also representing the U-19s in the UEFA Youth League. Dragusin excelled at the Primavera level before showcasing his potential for the U-23s in the Serie C.
The 18-year-old has burst on to the scene in Turin as a first-team player this season. Dragusin made his senior competitive debut against Dynamo Kyiv in the group stages of the Champions League in November.
That was followed by a Serie A debut against Genoa in December last year and the youngster recently made his first start as Juventus beat the same club in the Coppa Italia earlier this month.
Too many ageing legs?
Newcastle are yet to make their presence felt in the January window. The only significant piece of business for the Magpies has been a contract extension for centre-back Ciaran Clark.
Having said that, however, question marks continue to linger over the futures of some of the other central defenders at the club. Fabian Schar and Federico Fernandez are both out of contract at the end of the season. Paul Dummett has also entered the final 18 months of his existing deal at St. James’ Park.
In truth, Newcastle have too many ageing legs in the centre-back department. Clark and Fernandez are both 31. Dummett and Schar are not getting any younger at 29 either. With Jamal Lascelles the youngest in that department at 27, the Magpies should surely have one eye on freshening things up at the back.
A tally of 32 goals conceded in 19 games in the PL so far this season should further prompt Bruce to weigh up new long-term options.
Dragusin an ideal signing?
It’s hard to envisage Radu Dragusin slotting straight into Newcastle’s starting XI in the Premier League. The Romanian U-21 international is still only 18 and lacks significant exposure at the highest level to be a reliable option for Bruce.
Having said that, however, the teenager’s potential is something that should interest Newcastle as they bid to restructure their backline. Dragusin has made great strides in his development at Juventus and is already rubbing shoulders with the senior pros in Italy.
While that doesn’t necessarily guarantee success in the PL, Dragusin’s early potential certainly points to a bright future for the young centre-back. Wesley Fofana has established himself as a regular starter for Leicester City despite being just 19.
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Dragusin looks like a player in a similar mould to the Frenchman with plenty of room for development in the coming years. That said, Newcastle beating off the competition to sign the Juventus starlet could pay off handsomely for their long-term plans.