Newcastle have been linked with Sevilla winger Rony Lopes since this past summer. However, the 23-year-old ended up trading Monaco for Sevilla in a £23m move in July.
That however did not stop speculation that the Portuguese star could still end up on Tyneside.
The lack of playing time for Lopes has kept his name alive and well as a possible winter target for Newcastle. Lopes has played just 11 minutes in one La Liga appearance for Sevilla. He has only been named to the match-day squad on three other occasions.
Lopes was Sevilla’s marquee signing this summer but has been limited to playing in just their Europa League matches. The form of another summer signing, Lucas Ocampos from Marseille, has seen opportunities in the league very limited for Lopes.
However, the fact that he has not been named in the team for six of Sevilla’s ten league fixtures has to be concerning for the club.
Earlier this month, Sevilla’s director of football, Monchi, laid the blame at his door if Lopes and any other big summer signings couldn’t get onto the pitch. This is what the former Sevilla goalkeeper said at the time:
“If I have to be upset with someone because Rony Lopes or Kounde do not play, it would be with myself.
“The coach puts in those he believes are better. Koundé is 20 years old, and Rony is 23. You have to have perspective. But if in the end, it does not work, the culprit is me, there is no more.”
After not getting into the squad for this past weekend’s match against Getafe, Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui made some comments about the situation with Rony Lopes.
Spanish outlet El Desmarque has published some of those comments in an article that highlights Lopes’s £23m price-tag while only playing 11 minutes in the league.
Lopetegui descarta las salidas de Dabbur y Rony Lopes, da pistas sobre las posibles rotaciones en el once y centra todas las miradas en el Valencia. https://t.co/NJjEvbmlhs
— ElDesmarque Sevilla FC (@eldesmarque_sfc) October 29, 2019
Julen Lopetegui, who was appointed this summer, said the following about Lopes and the possibility of a winter exit:
“In each game, what we think about is having the maximum number of players available, in order to have problems in decision making, which we don’t have in the back due to physical problems.
“We do not think of anyone’s exit. We think that the maximum possible number of players can help us.”
In a round about way, Lopetegui says he’s not currently considering any player departures. However, the pressure seems to be growing in Sevilla about their summer business.
If this continues, maybe Newcastle will look to bring the former Manchester City youth prospect back to the Premier League in a possible loan move this January. He is a very creative player who can play on either wing or as an attacking midfielder.
He could be seen as an answer to Newcastle’s inability to create chances for Joelinton.