Jetro Willems has proved to be a brilliant piece of business, and a player who fans want to see signed permanently as soon as possible.
According to the Northern Echo, the Magpies have a £9.3 million deal lined up which could be completed as early as January.
But if Newcastle still have doubts about Willems’ long-term future at St James’ Park, another player they could consider is Ricardo Rodriguez.
The left-back is reportedly on his way out of AC Milan, with Calciomercato claiming they would sell him for around £8.4 million – slightly less than what we’ll have to pay for Willems.
Like Willems, Rodriguez had a massive reputation a few years back, tipped to be one of the top left-backs of his generation. But the wheels have fallen off for the 27-year-old, with a move to the San Siro failing to lift his profile. Now he’s out of favour, with Everton linked with a move to rescue him.
But Newcastle should definitely take a look at a player who’s best known for his set pieces, an area where we don’t really have a specialist. And if we’re not getting a lot of the ball, set pieces are key, increasing the need for a free-kick expert.
Rodriguez has played for Switzerland 67 times, often playing alongside Toon hero Fabian Schar – which could increase our chances of tempting him to St James’ Park.
I’m not saying we should sign Rodriguez over Willems. The Dutchman has been brilliant, one of our best signings of the summer. But there’s no harm in looking at other options.
In an ideal world we could have both, as right now Willems doesn’t have anyone to compete with for the left wing-back role. But as we all know, we don’t live in an ideal world. This is Mike Ashley’s Newcastle United.