Three benefits and drawbacks of signing Ekitike when the transfer link reopens: Howe effect, PSG spat, and burned bridges.

Three benefits and drawbacks of signing Ekitike when the transfer link reopens: Howe effect, PSG spat, and burned bridges.
Three benefits and drawbacks of signing Ekitike when the transfer link reopens: Howe effect, PSG spat, and burned bridges.

Is Hugo Ekitike making waves again and being connected to a transfer to Newcastle United? It must be getting close to transfer window time again.

The 21-year-old PSG player is hoping to leave the Parc des Princes in January after completely losing favor there. Consequently, the Magpies are connected to a move for his services once more.

Following the injuries to Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson, which highlighted the limitations of Eddie Howe’s offensive options, Newcastle is searching for more forward potency. Some thought Ekitike, who turned down a transfer to Tyneside in the past, would be a wise addition.

Others would surely think that after such a protracted transfer drama in recent years, which culminated in Newcastle’s humiliating rejection, there should be no way back for the young player.

So, what are the pros and cons of a move for Ekitike?

Pro: Newcastle requires an additional offensive weapon.

When the season first began, a lot of Newcastle supporters, including Howe, thought the Magpies had enough offensive firepower to go until at least January.

Wilson and Isak have scored 13 goals in the Premier League so far this season, demonstrating their continued ease in finding the back of the net.

This is true even if both strikers have had recent injury setbacks. Isak is almost ready to make a comeback from a groin issue that has kept him out of action twice in quick succession.

With a well-known history of ailments, Wilson will likely need to spend a significant amount of time recovering from a hamstring problem.

There weren’t many choices to fill a hole through the middle during the recent loss to Bournemouth, so Anthony Gordon and Ben Parkinson were left to lead the line. Is getting the job a top priority in January?

Con: Insufficient physical fitness

It’s reasonable to say that Ekitike’s career at PSG has not at all gone as planned. The teenage striker had the opportunity to start again with Luis Enrique, the new manager, after failing to make an impression on outgoing boss Christophe Galtier the previous season.

Rather, Ekitike’s situation has gotten worse, as he hasn’t played a single minute for the French team since a chaotic conclusion to the summer transfer window. As part of the agreement to recruit Randal Kolo, PSG sought to negotiate a move to Frankfurt.

However, Ekitike declined Muani. Rather, the former star of Reims attempted to force through a deal to Crystal Palace on deadline day without telling PSG, and he eventually decided to stay in the French capital.

Since then, Ekitike has just practiced with the first team and has not been included in the starting lineup. The striker would need several weeks to adjust to Howe’s constant demands for conditioning on Tyneside.

Advantage: A gifted child and the Howe effect

Speaking of Howe, the Newcastle manager is the greatest person to bring out the best in a young player trying to launch a career revival.

The former Bournemouth manager has made a lot of improvements since taking over at St James’ Park, and you would trust him to use his magic on Ekitike if given the chance.

It’s evident that despite his current troubles and attitude difficulties, Ekitike was a genuine top prospect. Hugo has extraordinary potential, according to remarks made by former PSG manager Galtier last year.

He is discovering the highest level.”

Con – Fallen out with two different PSG bosses

On the flip side, Howe’s policy of only signing great characters has worked wonders for Newcastle to date. Ekitike, however, comes with a number of risks attached.

The youngster has fallen out with both PSG managers he has worked with and many have questioned his attitude after earning his ‘dream’ move to the European giants.

Internally, PSG chiefs were said to be fuming with the player’s total refusal to leave for Germany over the summer.

The Palace saga did him no favours either. Before that, his alleged attitude in response to be left out behind Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar meant Galtier found it hard to back the attacker in public.

“I’m not convinced by Hugo Ekitike because he has shown mental weaknesses,” former PSG star Eric Rabesandratana told France Bleu Paris last year.

He’s young, but I find that, behaviour-wise, he doesn’t correspond at all to what you expect from him as a young person, and especially as a player who should impose him at PSG over the years.

“We need players who are focused on football, and I’m not sure that moaning every two seconds, half-bothering to do the exercises, because it bores him and he’d rather play games, is enough.”

Pro – Thierry Henry influence

Arsenal and France legend, Thierry Henry, is now in charge of his native country’s under-21 side and Ekitike is firmly on his radar despite his ongoing PSG struggles.

Despite many of those around him seemingly cutting ties and giving up hope, Henry is prepared to give the youngster another chance to revive his once incredibly promising career.

“I called Hugo, I wanted to know where he was,” Henry told reporters in September. “I’m not going to tell you about our discussion. He knows what he has to do, not just what I expect, and what he has to do next.”

Will the help of a footballing great be enough to save Ekitike’s career?

Con – Bridges burned?

The Ekitike links resurfacing this week drew the usual ire from certain corners of the Newcastle fan base.

Many believe if you turn down the opportunity to play for Newcastle once, you shouldn’t be afforded another shot.

Given the club’s long-standing interest in the player, Howe is unlikely to see it that way.

The Magpies will not hesitate to try and make a deal happen if a deal can be arranged that fits Newcastle’s budget and strengthens the first team.

However, should Ekitike be given another chance at redemption, or has too much time passed since Newcastle’s original interest eighteen months ago?


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