Ukrainian attacking midfielder Viktor Kovalenko has been touted for a big move to a top European league for quite a while. Despite being just 23-years-old, the Shaktar Donetsk Academy product has been a regular in the Ukrainian Premier League since 2015.
He was once considered a top prospect destined for a move to one of the Premier League’s elite clubs. Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur were all linked with an interest in the playmaker since he broke into the Shaktar first-team.
Those links have quieted down of late as a move never materialized. However, Kovalenko’s contract with the Ukrainian Champions will expire this coming summer. He could be acquired for a reduced fee in January or on a free transfer this summer.
Viktor Kovalenko– contract runs out in the summer
Kovalenko has already made over 170 appearances for Shaktar Donetsk with over 20 of those in the Champions League. He has scored 27 goals and added 12 assists.
He also has 24 caps for Ukraine and is in the latest squad for the Euro qualifiers. In fact, he is playing against Serbia as we write this. Therefore a work permit should not be an issue for the player.
We think Kovalenko would be an astute buy for Newcastle in January and would fit a position of need. He’s an attacking player who can really pick a pass and unlock defenses. With his contract running out in the summer, his transfer fee would be a pittance compared to what he could have commanded a few years ago.