Reports today, not for the first time, that Newcastle United are interested in 28 year-old Dutch defender, Joris Mathijsen.
Joris Mathijsen in tussle with Russian Andrei Arshavin
The Dutch defender is said to be attracting a number of Premier clubs, with Blackburn Rovers and Sunderland also reportedly interested in the 5’11” center back.
Mathijsen, a Dutch international, has 33 caps for his country, and plays for Bundesliga side Hamburg.
He has played for the German club 58 times, since joining them in the summer of 2006, from Dutch club AZ Alkmaar.
The Dutchman is thought to be valued at around Â£10M, which seem rather high to us.
But the defender had some good games in the recently completed Euro 2008, playing in both the group games against Italy and France, and in Holland’s quarter final defeat to Russia.
Newcastle have recently signed local defender, Steven Taylor, to a new and vastly improved 3 year contract. It appears that Newcastle more than tripled Steven’s wages at the club, but he earned that contract, with some solid performances at the back under Kevin Keegan.
Taylor formed a good budding partnership with Abdoulaye Faye towards the end of last season, in central defense.
But Kevin Keegan will want to bring in at least one additional center back, since center-backs Peter Ramage and Lamine Diatta, both left the club in the summer.
Competition for places is vital to getting the very best out of the players at any club, and of course Faye is more than useful as a defensive midfielder too. 20 year-old David Edgar will also be fighting for one of the defensive positions next season.
We don’t know too much about Mathijsen, but a Â£10M fee for the player seems far too high, especially when we were quoted less for Glasgow Ranger’s Spanish center back, Carlos Cuellar, who we think would be a better buy for the club – if he’s available.