Why Newcastle United signing Omar Colley would be a waste of resources

According to claims from Italian outlet Tutto Mercato, as cited by the Chronicle Live, Newcastle United have been credited with an interest in central defender Omar Colley, who currently plies his trade with Sampdoria in the Italian Serie A. 

The report adds that Newcastle are keen to complete a deal for the 27-year-old centre-back before the January transfer deadline and are jetting out to hold talks with the Serie A club over a potential move. 

A Gambian international, Colley played for Wallidan and Real de Banjul in his homeland before earning a move to Europe with Finnish club KuPS. The centre-back subsequently featured for Djugarden in the Swedish top-flight before moving across the continent to join Belgian heavyweights Genk. 

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Omar Colley has established himself as one of the mainstays at Sampdoria in Italy (Getty Images)

It was during his time at Genk that Colley carved out a big reputation for himself in Europe, clocking up 95 appearances across all competitions and playing a key role in the club’s march to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League during the 2016-17 season. 

The 27-year-old’s successful spell in Belgium paved the way for a move to Italy with Sampdoria back in the summer of 2018 and Colley has gone from strength to strength ever since, establishing himself as a force to reckon with in the Serie A. 

Having started 21 league fixtures during his first season at the club, the Gambian international has already clocked up 16 starts under Claudio Ranieri in the Serie so far this term, but Newcastle’s interest in the central defender means that he might not be plying his trade in Italy for much longer. 

Meanwhile, Newcastle United have slipped down to 13th in the standings after losing each of their last three league fixtures against Man United, Everton and Leicester City

The Magpies strung together an impressive run of results from the start of November to mid-December, winning five out their eight league fixtures within that period, but they have once again returned to their mediocre ways around the turn of the year. 

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Colley was instrumental in Genk’s surge to the quarter-finals of the 2016-17 UEFA Europa League (Getty Images)

To that end, a scoring record of 20 goals in 21 games is something that manager Steve Bruce will surely need to improve on during the second half of the season if Newcastle are to push on for a top-half finish. As a matter of fact, a large proportion of those goals have been scored by the defenders while Jonjo Shelvey is currently the top-scorer for the Magpies with 5 goals.

Bringing in attacking reinforcements should be a top priority for Newcastle in January, with the likes of Joelinton, Dwight Gayle, Allan Saint-Maximin, Yoshinori Muto and Andy Carroll sharing only two goals between them so far. 

To put things into perspective, it is hard to see why Steve Bruce would need to add another centre-back to his already well-stocked defensive unit and Newcastle’s links with Omar Colley doesn’t really make a lot of sense in footballing terms.

Verdict 

Notwithstanding the fact that the 27-year-old has progressed by leaps and bounds to evolve into a quality centre-back over the past few years, Newcastle don’t really need to bring in more defenders, especially due to the fact that there are plenty of gaping holes to be plugged further up the pitch.

With Federico Fernandez, Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark, Paul Dummett, Florian Lejeune and Fabian Schar already competing for places at the back, it is really difficult to see how someone like Colley would possibly fit into Bruce’s plans in the Premier League. 

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Colley has emerged as a target for Newcastle United (Getty Images)

Agreed, Lejeune has been in and out of the mix due to his struggles with injuries while Fernandez is out of contract in 2020, but Newcastle still has a lot of depth and quality in their backline, and it is a no-brainer that completing a deal for the Gambian would simply be a wastage of valuable resources. 

On the contrary, they might as well focus on retaining the services of Fernandez with a new deal, given that the Argentine international has cemented his place as a regular fixture under Bruce in recent weeks. 

Having said that, Newcastle United would dodge a bullet by dropping their interest in Omar Colley, who is not really an immediate necessity at St. James’ Park in January.