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Newcastle’s Two Center-Back Targets In January

7:37 am, Sunday, December 20th, 2015 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 24 Comments

We were linked with two good center-backs last week and quite honestly either one of them would be good for Newcastle.

One was Lamine Kone of Lorient who has been one of the best center-backs in France for a couple of years now and one was Joel Matip of Schalke, who we were supposed to have bid £10M for last summer.

Kone is 26 and turns 27 in February whereas Joel is 24 and turns 25 in August.


Lamine Kone – 26 year-old Lorient central defender

Both center-backs are good strong physical players who seem to be good acquisitions for Newcastle next month.

Kone is maybe slightly old for the usual player Newcastle tend to bring in and maybe he would take some time to adjust to the English way of playing football, but the Paris-born player is well equipped to handle the rigors of English football.

Lamine has made 16 appearances for Lorient this season and joined them in 2010 from Chateauroux and in total he has played 135 times with 7 goals for Lorient and he picked up his first cap for the Ivory Coast last year.

Lamine is fast, strong and very athletic and would be well suited to the Premier League and would cost around £5M and that looks good value for money.

joel matip

Joel Matip – 24 year-old Schalke center-back

The news last week is that Liverpool want to sign Joel Matip on a pre-contract agreement so he signs for them in the summer when he becomes a free agent and his Schalke contract runs out.

There’s still even a small chance he would stay at Schalke and sign a new deal with them.

Newcastle could bid around £5M for him in January and maybe Schalke would accept that for their 6’4″ center-back who has played 16 times for Cameroon.

Whether he moves in January or in the summer, Schalke will get something for him because he’s been at the club for the last 15 years, so even as a free agent his German club would get some compensation for him.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will be very familiar with the player having been at Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga for seven years.

The 24 year-old has played 26 times for Cameroon and 236 times for Schalke with 22 goals and 12 assists – the only club he has ever played for.

It would appear these are two top targets for Newcastle for next month and as we said for around £5M either center-back would be a very good buy for Newcastle.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Tags: Newcastle News · Recruitment · Scouting Network · Transfer News and Rumours · Transfer Target

24 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Dec 20, 2015 at 7:48 AM

    Need a player who can glue all the bits together

  • 2 StevoNorthShields // Dec 20, 2015 at 7:56 AM

    We really need a big strong CB to play alongside the excellent mbemba. Colo has had his day, unfortunately

  • 3 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Dec 20, 2015 at 8:02 AM

    As it looks tight now we need an upgrade on Dummett, Colback, Cisse and someone at the back to tie it all together.

    It’s not going to make a huge difference unless McClaren starts showing up for work!

  • 4 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Dec 20, 2015 at 8:03 AM

    *tight = right

  • 5 Reyantoon // Dec 20, 2015 at 8:03 AM

    Mbemba indeed is an excellent player.One of the signing of the summer.

  • 6 Nufc-83 // Dec 20, 2015 at 8:04 AM

    We are desperate for a lb. Dummet is the new Danny Simpson but I would say slightly better defensively. The team only ever attack down the right and it’s getting obvious now making us so unbalanced. Need to move gini into the no10 role and get a left winger out there aswell if that thauvin or Aaron’s fine but someone needs to provide width.

  • 7 Slank // Dec 20, 2015 at 8:04 AM

    We need a centre back.

    But we don’t need another African as he and Mbemba would presumably be away together to the African Cup of Nations.

    And it would be just our bad luck that Lascelles and Saylor (inevitability) would be injured.

  • 8 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Dec 20, 2015 at 8:09 AM

    Nufc…I wouldn’t actually mind us trying something different for a change. Maybe a more compact formation with Thauvin and Perez wide in s front three and then move Gini in to the middle. I don’t think his future is in the #10 role though but in the #8 role like he played in for PSV last season .

  • 9 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Dec 20, 2015 at 8:09 AM

    *s = a

  • 10 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Dec 20, 2015 at 8:11 AM

    Slank…I think alot of ppl have missed that point. I have raised it myself before.

  • 11 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Dec 20, 2015 at 8:13 AM

    thought Dummett defended well yesterday but his distribution was woeful – reminded me of Frank Clark -pointed one way and hoofed the ball another.
    Need a strong commanding centre back who is good in the air and won’t get muscled off the ball, because when the opposition ie Deeney, Whickam and Gestede and most likely Lukaku next week easily muscle Colo and Mbemba off the ball.
    Mind you Mbemba has been outstanding this season

  • 12 sing in the corner // Dec 20, 2015 at 8:15 AM

    I’m not sure we can trust Thauvin as a starter at the moment though. Don’t think he has done enough to merit that. Not entirely his fault, just maybe he isn’t ready for what we need in a winger.

  • 13 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Dec 20, 2015 at 8:17 AM

    Sing…maybe he should be given a new chance then…to merit it!

    …it seems plenty of other players get second and third chance. But I think the whole setup need change, not just the faces.

  • 14 Slank // Dec 20, 2015 at 8:21 AM


    Do you have a ‘sods law’ in Danish because that’s what would happen ?

    It would be a huge risk having two African internationals as our centre back pairing.

    And the argument that if we had two good understudies it would be alright doesn’t wash with me as if they were really that good why aren’t they playing in the first regularly ?

  • 15 davetoon // Dec 20, 2015 at 8:22 AM

    I know Colo scored in the game but I thought he was caught out on a number of occasions. Best thing that could happen for all involved would be to buy a good new CB in Jan and allow Colo to return to his home club either in Jan or let him know he will be on the bench until the end of season but can have his free transfer then

  • 16 sing in the corner // Dec 20, 2015 at 8:22 AM

    Agree with that, (about the set up) but that’s the three window thing…

    I have liked Colo’s improved application in the last 3 games,but he is very wobbly as soon as someone is running at / past him. It was painful to see his deteriorating pace on display every time.

  • 17 Slank // Dec 20, 2015 at 8:29 AM

    That pitch was very nostalgic. Nearly a 1960s pitch. It only needed a muddy quagmire around the six yard box and it would have made a complete festive throwback.

    I got the results of the Liverpool and Spurs games right but pleased I got the Villa wrong as I had predicted a loss.

  • 18 Reyantoon // Dec 20, 2015 at 8:29 AM

    Slank…fully agree with you.We don’t need two African players in our side that will go to Afcon at the same time.

  • 19 jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew // Dec 20, 2015 at 8:32 AM

    Slank…yeah we do!

  • 20 sing in the corner // Dec 20, 2015 at 8:32 AM

    People highlight our lack of creativity and generally blame Colback or Anita for that, but we had de Jong, Sissoko and Wij all at the business end of the pitch at the same time. That’s what they are there to do – create. We scored, and we had 3 gilt edged chances to do so again which we didn’t take. Fine margins.

  • 21 Ron Knee // Dec 20, 2015 at 8:33 AM

    These statistics sum it up for me:

    Possession was 47% Newcastle and 53% Villa
    Shots on target was Newcastle 4 and Villa 7

    And this against the worst team in the PL – at home?

  • 22 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Dec 20, 2015 at 8:35 AM

    Hopefully Villa and the Mackems get cast adrift and we are in a relegation scrap for the remaining place.

    January February fixtures going to be very tough – could be the watershed.
    Arsenal A
    Man Utd H
    West Ham H
    Watford A

    Everton A
    West Brom H
    Chelsea A
    Man City H

  • 23 sing in the corner // Dec 20, 2015 at 8:38 AM

    I don’t think the weather is an excuse as such, but Villa clearly dealt with it better than we did. For the half hour in the second half where we lost the plot and to be honest looked like getting beat, we were looking round for a leader and found wanting. Somehow we managed to get a foothold in the end and nearly nicked it. We have frailties but lack of a leader is the biggie for me.

  • 24 mkhalaf // Dec 20, 2015 at 12:57 PM

    Janmaat Mbemba coloo dummet

    Anita colback

    Sissoko Wini Thuavin


    We should start like this and get ayoze off the bench against good opposition like everton,, but playing a weaker side like aston villa we should put wini alongside colback/anita and start ayoze in the 10 position,,, thuavin must start on the left as we look to be attacking only down the right without a decent left winger,, and he can deliver crosses to MITRO

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