Of all the players Newcastle have been linked since our top-flight return, we have been most impressed with LOSC Lille’s 22-year-old defensive midfielder Thiago Maia.
We are almost certain that link will be one that comes around again this summer.
There were reports late last summer that Newcastle had put an ambitious bid in to bring Thiago to Tyneside. This was after a summer of speculation of Newcastle’s customary “loan with an option to buy” deals that the Newcastle board are so enamored of.
None of these deals materialized and Newcastle had another lackluster transfer window. Then came reports out of Italy in January that Roma wanted to add Maia to their ranks.
And wouldn’t you believe it, it was a loan with an option to buy. But this was only for €10M.
Lille’s impressive defensive midfielder Thiago Maia
These reports were dispelled by the player’s agent but what is interesting with the link is the price. The reason for the drop in the player’s speculative value may have been his inability to hold down a first-team place at Lille.
Thiago Maia has only started 9 games in Ligue 1 for the northern French club and only one in other competitions.
He has made a total only 24 appearances in all competitions with many of those as a late substitute. We are not talking about a season hampered by injury either.
This is after Maia made 28 starts in 34 appearances the season before. So the time is ripe to go after this Brazilian defensive midfielder.
With the possibility of Hayden, Shelvey, and Diame leaving, it seems the perfect time to get Thiago to Tyneside for a bargain price.
Rafa appears to rate the player highly and we know he has the class. Imagine a Maia and Longstaff midfield partnership for years to come.
We don’t know what will happen or the reasons behind Maia’s lack of minutes on the pitch for Lille. What we do know is that we need to get players like Maia to Newcastle.