Reports in The Chronicle last week claimed Newcastle United have been scouting Japanese international Ritsu Doan ahead of the January transfer window.
The Japanese attacker plays his football in the Dutch Eredivisie with Groningen and has impressed with his displays.
The talented attacker can play on either flank, and would certainly bolster Rafa Benitez’s side.
But despite the winger looking an exciting prospect, any potential move would be poor timing from Newcastle.
The wide-man will star in Japan’s AFC Asian Cup team in January, meaning he’ll be unavailable at club level for at least a month.
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But Benitez needs to make signings which will have immediate impact, and Doan cannot currently offer that.
Not so Sudden Impact
The Asian Cup begins on January 5th, and Premier League teams are set to lose most of their Asian players.
Newcastle will already be without Ki Sung-yueng for most of January, and signing Doan would see much the same outcome.
The Asian Cup Final isn’t till February 1st meaning if Japan went the distance, Doan wouldn’t be available until February.
Then depending on recovery time, the forward may well miss most of the first two months of 2019.
Newcastle only have seven Premier League games from March, meaning if Doan had a successful tournament, his signing would likely have little impact.
However signing the Japanese star early could still have its benefits.
Playing the long game
One positive of signing Doan in January would be his current price.
The Chronicle reported his price tag as just £1.7m, the sort of fee Newcastle would have no problems with.
At 20 years old, he’s a promising young player who is already receiving international call-ups.
The winger has four goals and two assists in 16 matches this season and also scored a debut goal for his national team in October.
But if Newcastle are interested, moving fast might be a sacrifice their willing to make.
Plenty of scouts will be watching the Asian Cup, and should Doan have a brilliant tournament, his asking price would likely sky rocket.
The Chronicle states that Man City have also been linked with Doan in the past, highlighting the player’s quality.
Although they wouldn’t see benefits till next season, signing Doan in January would be a potential bargain for Newcastle.