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News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Newcastle Linked With Croation International Full-Back

1:25 pm, Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 15 Comments

Newcastle United have been linked today with Sassuolo defender Sime Vrsaljko according to reports in Italy, but why we would be interested in signing a right back – we don’t know.

However, while he usually plays at right back he can also play on the other side at left-back and that position is now a weakness at Newcastle.

He is an extremely versatile player and can also play in midfield.

The 15 times capped 6 ft tall Croatian international has been in good form for his club that has seen Sassuolo move into 7th place in Serie A this season.

sime vrsaljko -croatia_3162865

Sime Vrsaljko – 23 year-old Croatian International

The report is in TMW that both Arsenal and Newcastle are interested in the 23 year-old and that Newcastle have even made contact with his club about his availability for next month.

He is rated at around £7M and Newcastle are reported to be after a permanent transfer of the player in January.

The report also mentions that Barcelona have also expressed an interest in the Croatian.

Vrsaljko joined Genoa from Dinamo Zagreb two years ago and signed for Sassuolo last year.

He started his career at Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia back in 2006 and came through the Youth system there and he’s played for all the Croatian Youth sides from U15 through U21.

He looks like a decent player from what we can tell and ha splayed 39 times for Sassuolo.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

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

15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jib // Dec 22, 2015 at 1:30 PM

    I think our scouts were at Bordeaux v Marseilles on Sunday evening not to look at strikers but Marseilles capt and wantaway international goalie Steve Mandanda.

    Cogolese born he has played 21 times for France.

    Everton want him to replace Tim Howard and Liverpool are sniffing too

  • 2 jayphoto // Dec 22, 2015 at 1:37 PM

    Perhaps we’re looking at right backs as MCClarens opta stats will be telling him we’re getting hammered too often down the right. Janmaat is goid going forward but he’s really not particularly amazing defensively

  • 3 Jib // Dec 22, 2015 at 1:44 PM

    Mbabu is a right back and Mbemba has played right back for DRC.

  • 4 Our Toon // Dec 22, 2015 at 1:49 PM


    Thanks for the clarification DAD!! The whole pards thing is getting a bit boring now though, you are right that it is a blog, nufc blog not pardew fc!!

  • 5 Our Toon // Dec 22, 2015 at 1:52 PM


    Chance creation relates to penetrating passes that don’t even lead to fully created chances which means resulting in a shot on or off target. Cabella was top at Christmas for chances created, I remember Gary Neville saying it’s a deceiving stat as it didn’t give a true reflection on cleat cut chances being created!! Fabregas who wasn’t too of chances created was top of the assists charts, as he actually created chances….not to many balls through from Cabella that were missed by strikers

  • 6 jayphoto // Dec 22, 2015 at 1:53 PM

    @jib – mbabu and Mbemba are both naturally centrebacks that can cover full back. Seen interviews with both saying that the centre is their preferred position

  • 7 WWSBRD // Dec 22, 2015 at 2:11 PM

    Football manager star

    Would he be happy as cover for Janmaat?

  • 8 JamesToon // Dec 22, 2015 at 2:24 PM

    Seriously need some pace in our team. Juan Iturbe is in talks with Watford and Bournemouth for a £1m loan move, he’s a winger and has bags of pace surely we should be in for him

  • 9 Lilongwe Geordie // Dec 22, 2015 at 2:39 PM

    Mbabu is a right back. That is where he played his youth international football, and that is where he has predominantly played here. Of his 8 appearances for NUFC at all levels this season only 1 has been as a central defender. Of his 21 Reserve appearances since joining only 5 have been at centre back, with one left back appearance mixed in there as well.

    We also have Sterry who is a right back, but on the three occasions they have played in the same second string side this season Sterry has played right mid in front of Mbabu twice, with Mbabu moving into the centre for the one game with Sterry right back.

  • 10 Tsunki // Dec 22, 2015 at 2:46 PM

    Well I think it was unfortunate for mbabu to get injured when he did, showed quite a bit of promise and no lack of zeal. Especially noteworthy was his commitment not just to going forward, but to doing that elusive thing for a defender at our club, actually making sure he did his day job.

  • 11 Lilongwe Geordie // Dec 22, 2015 at 2:47 PM

    As for this guy, unless he is joining to play left back I’m not sure what the point would be. Janmaat is poor defensively, but I’d prefer to see a solid left back come in if we are looking at full backs.

  • 12 Tsunki // Dec 22, 2015 at 2:48 PM

    The transfer-ironer won’t want this guy. His name looks like what happens when you don’t realise your arm is resting on the keyboard.

  • 13 Lilongwe Geordie // Dec 22, 2015 at 2:53 PM

    I’d have no qualms with Mbabu being given a chance in the first team at right back if Janmaat was unavailable. Should he be brought in now to replace him? Not sure really, Janmaat has been at fault for a few goals this season, but I still think on balance he edges it. Still, any suspension or knock, and the slot is Mbabu’s to take if he can prove himself.

    Wouldn’t want him playing left back though. The initial buzz of starting carried him through playing out of position initially – much as it did Paul Huntington plus David Edgar and Dummet did well initially in position only to falter. To continue playing him left back would be doing him a disservice, and reduce his chances of making the grade here.

  • 14 Jail for Ashley // Dec 22, 2015 at 2:55 PM

    I didn’t realise that the season we went down we were two points better off than now and the season we avoided it with one game to spare we were actually three points better off :O

  • 15 lesh // Dec 22, 2015 at 4:05 PM

    We need a natural LB who can play on the right!

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