Six Creative Midfielders for Newcastle

We decided over the weekend to look at some creative midfielders that could be added to the Newcastle, would also be available and would improve the squad – especially the creativity in the side.

However, when you consider that Barton and Emre were not available for Newcastle on Saturday – they are our most creative midfielders so maybe we don’t need another one.

Also, once Jose Enrique beds in at left back that will free young Charles N’Zogbia who has been playing great under Sam to play central midfield or out wide on the left and Charles is quite creative.

Anyway, here are six of some of the best creative midfielders who may be able to do a job at Newcastle United and could be available. They’re listed in no particular order and we’d like you to vote on which one you think would be best.

We give a little playing history on each player and ask you to vote at the end of the article.


Joey Barton – probably our most creative midfielder right now


Anderson Luis de Souza (aka Deco) – Barcelona

Deco has won the European Champions League twice – once with Jose Mourinho’s Porto side in 2004 and then with Barcelona in 2006. He also won the UEFA Cup with Porto and Jose Mourinho in 2003. Deco is 30 next Monday and stands 5’8” tall.

Deco was born in Brazil and arrived in Portugal in 1997 at the age of 19 from Brazilian club Corinthians He was traded to FC Porto in 1999 and played for Porto for five years and appeared 142 times for them and scored 32 goals. Deco joined Barcelona in 2004 and has since played for them 127 times and scored 18 goals. He has now played a total of 318 first class club games scoring 65 goals. Deco has played for Portugal 46 times and scored 3 goals. Rumor of the last few days is he may be available for £6M – if that’s the case buy him now!


Juan Román Riquelme – Villareal

Riquelme is an Argentinian International who is now on loan at Boca Juniors for whom he played 24 times last season and scored 10 goals. He is 5’11” tall and turned 29 years old last June.

Riquelme started his career at Boca Juniors in 1996 when at 17 he made his first appearance. He played 151 times for Boca scoring 38 goals.
In 2002 he moved to Barcelona for one season (30 games 3 goals) before moving onto Villareal in 2003 where he has played 105 times for them scoring 35 goals before being sent out on loan to Boca Juniors this year. Riquelme has played for Argentina 41 times and scored 13 goals.
He is an accomplished player. A negative about the player is that he may lack some pace for the premiership – but his skill should make up for that. There are reports that Tottenham have tabled a £10M offer to Villareal for Riquelme. This is according to Riquelme’s agent Marcos Franchi, who wants Villareal to accept the bid (surprise, surprise).


Shunsuke Nakamura – Celtic

Japanese player who has been at Celtic since 2005. Nakamura is a play-making midfielder usually deployed by Celtic on the right hand side of midfield. He had previously been positioned in the center or on the left hand side of the pitch, since he is left-footed.

He is known for his vision and touch, as well as being a free-kick specialist. Shunsuke can create scoring opportunities for his teammates but is also more than capable of scoring himself. He joined Japanese club Yokohama Marinos in 1997 and played for them for 5 years. He appeared in 146 games and scored 33 goals before transferring to Reggina in 2002 where he stayed for 3 years appearing 81 times and scoring 11 goals. He is 5’10” and turned 29 years-old last June.

He joined Celtic in 2005 where he has looked excellent and now played 72 times for the Scottish giants scoring 16 goals. He was Celtic’s player of the year in 2007. Shunsuke has played for Japan 71 times and scored 18 international goals. A fault may be that he lacks pace for the Premiership. His contract with Celtic runs through the summer of 2009.


Kevin Nolan – Bolton Wanderers

We include Kevin Nolan here because of a number of factors. First of all he’s a good player and with so many of Bolton’s established stars seemingly unsettled since Sam Allardyce took over at Newcastle there may be a chance to capture Kevin if he became available.

At the age of 17 Kevin signed professional terms for Bolton Wanderers and made his first team debut. He is now captain of Bolton having played 244 times for them scoring 35 goals. Kevin is 6’0” tall and turned 25 years old last June.


Kim Kallstrom – Lyon

Kallstrom is a left-footed Swedish midfielder playing for the Swedish national team and Olympique Lyonnais. He has a powerful shot and his nickname is Kongo-Kim. Källström made his international debut in 2001 against Finland and played for his country at Euro 2004, and in last year’s world cup. He had an impressive world cup, both offensively and defensively helping Sweden to reach the second round. He has been capped 45 times scoring 6 goals.

He joined Lyon last year and has appeared 23 times for them scoring 7 Goals. Before Lyon he played at Stade Rennais for 3 years appearing 83 times for the French club and scoring 20 goals. Kim is 6’0” tall and will turn 25 years-old this coming Friday.


Rafael Ferdinand van der Vaart

Van der Vaart is a Dutchman who currently plays for Hamburg in the Budesleiga. He started his football career with Ajax in 2000, making his debut when he was 17. He was at Ajax for 5 years playing 117 games for them and scoring 52 goals for them. Van der Vaart is 5’8” tall and 24 years old. He joined Hamburg in 2005 and has played 46 times for them scoring 17 goals.

He has played for Holland 44 times making his international debut way back in 2001 and has scored 11 international goals.

56 comments so far

  • Dingo

    Aug 22, 2007 at 1:33 AM

    Comment #1

    Excellent post Ed……….. and great job on the poll’s!!!! thanks man
    (i voted for Van der Vaart)

  • adam

    Aug 22, 2007 at 1:37 AM

    Comment #2

    deco in behind vidukas strength, and using martins pace would be very good. his passing is class. i hope jose enrique plays soon as i feel zoggy would be better in an attacking position. hes doing well at the moment tho at left back. also hope sam starts playing geremi at right back, it might not be the most influential pos for a team capt but he will do a job. plus we got experience elsewhere with butt, smith, viduka etc. kevin nolan is good, but only for a club like bolton. he wouldnt add anything for us

  • Stephen

    Aug 22, 2007 at 1:49 AM

    Comment #3

    Juan Román Riquelme got to be like he can unlock any doors for me when he is on form he is one of the most exciting players about got loads of goals in the copa america and is a great player.

  • mark

    Aug 22, 2007 at 1:52 AM

    Comment #4

    i think diego and nasri sould have been included but out of them id say van der vaart but just couldnt see him at the toon.

  • apan

    Aug 22, 2007 at 2:22 AM

    Comment #5

    i vote for riquelme simply because he can adapt to any league in the world and his vision, creativity and simple touch makes u wonder how come another player cant come up with his move, deco or van der vaart is not bad either

  • Jeff D

    Aug 22, 2007 at 2:25 AM

    Comment #6


  • Jeff D

    Aug 22, 2007 at 2:26 AM

    Comment #7

    Then nakamura!!

  • Edd Case

    Aug 22, 2007 at 2:35 AM

    Comment #8

    Riquelme has to be the very best creative midfielder on the planet at the minute – outside Ronaldinho, Messi and Ronaldo of course (and the only real reason why is that all of those three will really run at defenders, while Riquelme will barely break a sweat, rather Jan Molby like).

    Deco is a great player but Riquelme pips it for me.

    Mind you, any of the above would be a welcome addition – but will we seriously sign any of them?
    I doubt it.

    Still, one can but dream.

    Speaking of dreaming, it’s way past my bedtime (02:35!!!!)

  • Phil

    Aug 22, 2007 at 2:42 AM

    Comment #9

    You not think Emre is worth considering?

  • Shane Coghlan

    Aug 22, 2007 at 3:06 AM

    Comment #10

    I think it is worth seeing how Emre and Barton go first as far as creative midfielders. As both of them a great players. Though Riquelme would be a dream, im not sure if we need a creative midfielder right now. I think it would be preferable for N’Zogbia to play in midfield or on the wing.

    I think we should get our creative influence from elsewhere on the pitch. E.G Cicinho at right back.

  • Red Ranter

    Aug 22, 2007 at 3:23 AM

    Comment #11

    Joey Barton is your most creative midfielder?! Shocking I must say, when I think of it. I thought Barton was more box-to-box, broke up plays etc.

    No wonder the team was dour against Villa. Sam’s got Geremi and Cacapa earmarked in midfield. All defensive in nature.

    Oh well, Nakamura should suit you guys well, realistically. Sam has experience working with Japanese players (he’s worked with Inamoto). I guess Nakamura is the most skilled of the current crop. His performance against United (Manchester, that is 🙂 ), when we played Celtic in the Champs League last year, was sublime.

  • Shearyadi

    Aug 22, 2007 at 3:31 AM

    Comment #12

    As a fellow asian lad, I would love to see Nakamura in our squad, not to mention the huge profits each time he plays for Toon. The Japanese are very keen to see their own player playing for other team, especially for Newcastle United. The boards of director can start to think of adding more seats to St. James’ Park if we have Nakamura on our squad 😀

    Other player that I think would be a great addition is Rafael Van der Vaart, still relatively young and very creative midfielder that can score goals too.

  • Ross G

    Aug 22, 2007 at 4:18 AM

    Comment #13

    —-Nakamura is a right mid – so no.
    —-Riquelme is quality however he needs a team built around him for him or he will fail and so i think not
    —-Kallstrom would never leave a team who are champions, in europe that he just signed for, for newcastle – no again.
    —- Nolan although possible would cost alot, and is not as good as Barton, plus and more importantly he has been in poor form for a while now.- nope
    —- Deco is a quality player and at £6m (i expect wrong) is incredibly cheap he may take a while to evolve to the prem and may be after a last pay packet.- but a good signing
    —- Van der Vaart is the best on the list almost scoring a goal every other game for all his clubs. He also has a great assist record. He almost recently moved to Valencia claiming he wanted to get out of Hamburg and probably cost nearer the £10m bracket he is still young which makes him the best alround signing. Would be immense but unlikely.

    Think we will sign Faye, and a 3rd choice keeper and thats it although with the so-called money we were ment to recieve i think we would have spent more under Shepard we should be getting e.g. Cuducini, Faye, Belletti, and Van der Vaart. Edmilson again will sign in January but as a holding midfielder stop claiming he will play CB he may fill in incase our other main 4 get injured but he will probably replace Butt. If we get these a 433 of this would be fantastic.

    Belletti, Rozehnal, Taylor, Enrique
    Barton, Edmilson, Van der Vaart
    Milner, Viduka, Martins/Duff


  • Chad

    Aug 22, 2007 at 5:09 AM

    Comment #14

    Come on boys. Have you ever seen Van der Vaart play? Best one on the list by far. Young and a total football player. And being left-footed is a bonus. Thing is he’ll cost a fair amount. Nakamura is a poor man’s Van der Vaart, and we appear to be a poor club so maybe we should go after him. Also, Nolan is absolute crap!

  • Lamesley Mag

    Aug 22, 2007 at 6:42 AM

    Comment #15

    Barton and Zog for me at this time as I believe BSA will bring in Faye and possibly Diop before end August.

    We need players who are proven in the Premier League and while there is no doubting the skills of Deco and Riquelme, the brutal English winter may not suit them.

    Nakamura would be a good signing and so would Nolan although expensive!

    We need a RB as I believe Carr may well end up at Celtic, or possibly even ‘Sunderland’

  • Shaun

    Aug 22, 2007 at 7:24 AM

    Comment #16

    I agree we need a right back, also looking at the comments I keep forgetting about Duff, BSA may be able to do something with him but I think we have to play Zog on the left attcking mid.

  • Anth

    Aug 22, 2007 at 7:38 AM

    Comment #17

    To true About Van der Vaart he is the exact player we need at newcastle we havnt had a goal scoring midfielder in the last five years, to think it the last time we had a midfilder score 10 or more in the leauge was Rob Lee, Van Der Vaart speaks english, is only 24 , 10 million is nothing compared viana and luque when you know you how good van der vaart is !!!!!!!!!!

  • ryan magomu

    Aug 22, 2007 at 7:40 AM

    Comment #18

    to really be honest i havent stomached how big sam would remove martins and leave viduka in the team.see he did alot of nothing till he was substituted for ameaobi.u may never know wat martins has to offer till the match ends.viduka is more of a box guy as compared to martins who can go out pick some balls.anyway i hope this weekend things can ger better for us.we lacked a creative midfielder thats for sure on saturday.with geremi,smith and butt.these are more defensive no wonder we had that gap between the midfielders and could big sam adopt the 4 3 3 formation at wonder he had to change it at second half coz it had really failed to work in first half.the other thing was we only had one wing that was working.milners.otherwise the defence was great.we have to work on the creativity part of it and we shall be great

  • craig chisholm

    Aug 22, 2007 at 7:51 AM

    Comment #19

    the team we have is fine lads. just need a to sweet talk solano into perm right back. gets zogs left mid field and the bull at left back. barton is class and IS creative, regardless of what the manure fan said on here in a previous posting. its only two games in and we are sitting pretty. most other teams have played 3 so we have a game in hand. there is no problem. for the record though i really like deco out of the list. have seen the little fella play so many times and he is awsome. not just the creative side but he is a tough little bugga too and gets stuck in.

  • James

    Aug 22, 2007 at 7:58 AM

    Comment #20

    How much would all of these cost? could you perhaps put an estimated value next to each player? thanks

  • Sean

    Aug 22, 2007 at 8:01 AM

    Comment #21

    Ed, can i ask you a question? WHY IS NEITHER DIMITRI PAYET OR SAMIR NASRI ON THERE? They would both be perfect for us and they’re both still teenagers! Anyway i voted for Van Der Vaart, you shouldn’t spend big money on anyone age 29+. Van Der Vaart is classy on the pitch and i believe i heard on this site in the past that he wants to come to the prmier league 😀

  • Ed Harrison

    Aug 22, 2007 at 8:10 AM

    Comment #22

    Sean – I knew i wouldn’t be able to cover all – these six are what I chose – had to keep it to around that number. Also looked ar experienced (older) players who had experience.

  • Shearer 4 pm

    Aug 22, 2007 at 8:22 AM

    Comment #23

    kallstrom is looking to leave lyon with valencia interested in him, and also van der vaart, i think the best on the list is kallstrom still quite young wouldn’t take long to adapt to the premiership, and has great experience. but i also think diego should be on there along with joao mountinho and nasri and kerlon

  • shaun D

    Aug 22, 2007 at 8:25 AM

    Comment #24

    Think van der vaart would be the best all round signing, didn’t realise his stats would be so good. good work ed

  • Toon Chicken

    Aug 22, 2007 at 8:57 AM

    Comment #25

    Why are Man U fans posting comments on a Toon blog? Are their own fan sites as stale and boring as the atmosphere inside Old Trafford these days?

  • Graham

    Aug 22, 2007 at 9:00 AM

    Comment #26

    We’re a week or so away from having Emre back (if he can learn to stay on his feet he can be excellent), N’Zogbia will move up the field when Enrique is fit (again a week or so away). And we are only 2-4 weeks away from Barton being fit again.

    Please remember boys and girls, we are not in Europe this season and we are a far cry from the likes of Man Utd etc. so players such as those mentioned will not be very happy on the bench or out of the team week in week out.

    In other words – do with what we have got until next season when we are (hopefully) playing more games through european competition – whether it be through our league standing or even better – our trophy cabinet being less empty than the stands at the Riverside!

  • Hadji

    Aug 22, 2007 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #27

    Whoever we buy we have to make sure that he’s right footed,cause i think we have too many left footers.How bout getting Gago on loan.He was a bench warmer last year in Real Madrid.Guys i wanna ask if someone knows what are the ambitions for todays match against Germany.Do you think that England will win?

  • Hadji

    Aug 22, 2007 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #28

    By the way,great work Ed.You rock

  • Andreas

    Aug 22, 2007 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #29

    Källström is to slow and no better than the players we have at the moment. Beside this he have agreed on a new contract with Lyon after the ~£10M move to Valencia fell through. He says he will put pen to paper as soon as he’s back in Lyon after todays international friendly (source [in swedish]:

    Out of the 6 proposed players I personally would like to see Van der Vaart at the Toon, although I think it’s highly unlikely we could get him this season.

  • StevieA

    Aug 22, 2007 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #30

    Deco or Van Der Vaart for me.

    Both very skillful and creative. Van Der Vaart is slightly younger but Deco has more champions league experience. In an ideal world I would sign both! 😉

  • StevieA

    Aug 22, 2007 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #31

    Having said that I would consider Nolan because of his friendship with Sam and also because he is a pretty good player. He could be our new Gary Speed and chip in with some goals from midfield.

  • Bosck

    Aug 22, 2007 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #32

    Ross G – Your team leaves out our captain Geremi, who as well as being are best player so far along with milner, will also not get left out of the side unless he is being rested or injured.

  • Bosck

    Aug 22, 2007 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #33

    are = our

  • Toon 85

    Aug 22, 2007 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #34

    We better not sign nakamura, he is decent in spl but wouldn’t cut it in the prem. Petrov was the top player in spl before signing for villa, and he looks well out of his depth in prem.

    Deco for me!

  • Tom_Toon

    Aug 22, 2007 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #35

    van der Vaart isnt a playmaker FFS!

  • cooldj

    Aug 22, 2007 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #36

    bet we dont get any…nolan most realistic and best for the prem

    is joe cole availible?

    wesley sjnieder could do a good job

  • iain

    Aug 22, 2007 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #37

    sneijder went to real for 18m quid.

    riquelme is the best out of all those players for several reasons mainly his technique, we have creative runners/dribblers in zog/milner, dynamic box to box mf in barton and emre, the only type of creative player you could argue we are missing is a deep lying playmaker that runs the game from mf ala riquelme.

    riquelme may not be the best suited to the pl or a 442 formation but he is perfect for big sams 433 formation as its the system he plays for argentina, he also plays well in a 4411 formation that villareal played and riquelme set up enough chances to turn forlan into one of la ligas top cf. his set pieces are usually top class and has cored 20 goals in a season from mf.

    deco is a good player who gets stuck in but is surprisingly older than riquelme and whilst riquelme may not get stuck in deco does often to the detriment of his attacking game, he got booked 3 times more than he scored goals last season and whilst riquelme is tempremental and outspoken it seems stupid to chase deco over riquelme when despite there similar personalities deco is older and not as good a player imo yet just as likely to whinge about weather/throw a strop.

    vdv and kallstrom migh adapt to the pl better and be able to integrate into england becuase of their nationaltities. not sure kallstrom is the best passer or quick but can wallop a shot or free kick, whereas vdv is about as close as european players get to riquelme/deco but he seems on intent on playing in spain for a cl club.

    im not sure on naka although he scores free kicks i dont remember seeing him do anything else in the games ive seen him play, his passing is certainly not as creative as vdv/deco/riquelme.

    nolan seems he could be the best option as sam talks a lot of finding players that can attack and defend and nolan can certainly do that. he is suited to the pl, tall good in the air, tough in the tackle, and he certainly has underated technique, through 90 mins he may not spray the ball around ala deco/riquelme, but as he showed for bolton vs us he can spot and play the creative killer ball if its on.

    as much as i would love to see a riquelme type here i wouldnt complain if nolan and diouf came in as not only do we need a creative cm we need a player to play wide and help milner/zog out.

  • iain

    Aug 22, 2007 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #38

    whoever mentioned moutinho, good call.

    hes the new deco, he just like huntelaar was taking nufc defence apart b4 they were being talked about by the majority of football fans and mainstream media.

    remember that gutting loss to lisbon blamed entirely on our injuries during the game, remember a bit harder and you will remember a little fella taking us to pieces that was moutinho and hes better now.

  • Shearer 4 pm

    Aug 22, 2007 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #39

    that was me who mentioned mountinho i remembered him from that match and then on fifa 07 (not the most reliable) he grows to be one of the best players although it didn’t take much to tear our defence apart, also we all thought that about viana, but now we have sam i believe he will flourish if he comes

  • Tom_Toon

    Aug 22, 2007 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #40

    We dont need a fkin playmaker, at least till jan!

    Riquelme is so inconsistent its unbelieveable


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