When Newcastle got a free kick just outside the box during Yohan Cabaye’s time at the club, you could all but guarantee a goal.
The French midfielder was a wizard in dead ball situations, scoring some sensational set pieces in the black and white of Newcastle.
But since he left, the Magpies haven’t consistently had a threat direct from free kicks. We’ve seen impressive strikes from the likes of Salomon Rondon and Jonjo Shelvey, but no one has filled fans with confidence like Cabaye did.
However, a player who has been loosely linked with Newcastle this month could fill that void.
According to Loui Girardi on Twitter, the Magpies have submitted a bid for AC Milan’s Hakan Calhanoglu. As it stands, there aren’t any more concrete links with the Turkish playmaker.
But regardless of whether Newcastle are linked or not, it’s clear that Calhanoglu would offer Steve Bruce something he’s missing. The 25-year-old is a set piece specialist, scoring stunning free kicks for both club and country.
Calciomercato reported in December that Milan would consider selling him for around £17 million, which would make him an expensive option for Newcastle.
Predominantly playing either on the left or in the middle of midfield, Bruce might struggle to find a place in his starting XI for Calhanoglu.
But considering the club’s inability to create chances, a dead ball specialist like Calhanoglu would certainly be an asset.