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.

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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.

(Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images)

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.

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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.

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