Newcastle United are reportedly interested in adding another Brazilian midfielder to their ranks at the end of the 2022/23 campaign…
What’s the latest on Matheus Franca to Newcastle?
The report claims that fellow Premier League side Crystal Palace are keeping tabs on the dynamo and could attempt to pry him from Flamengo by offering £15m for his services in the summer.
However, it is stated that the Brazilian outfit are holding out for a fee in the region of £17.5m alongside a whopping 50% of any future transfer away from his next club.
Who is Matheus Franca?
The 19-year-old midfielder is a Brazilian prospect who is mainly deployed as an attacking midfielder and is also capable of playing through the middle as a number nine or out wide on the left.
As a result, Howe could unearth his next Joelinton by securing a deal to sign the young talent.
Indeed, Franca is another attacker from Brazil who has the qualities to play deeper than the number nine position and could work well in one of the slots alongside Bruno Guimaraes in the middle of the park.
Since arriving at St. James’ Park, the English head coach has successfully migrated Joelinton into a midfield position after the ex-Hoffenheim man managed just 12 goals in 73 appearances as a striker for the club. This season, the Toon star has made all of his appearances as either a left winger or in one of the central midfield roles.
The brute has been able to combine his skill in possession with a robust style of play off the ball to be a standout performer in the Premier League – scoring six times and providing two assists whilst also making 2.2 tackles per match in the division.
He has also been able to utilise his athleticism to carry the ball up the pitch with 3.89 progressive carries and successful take-ons combined per 90 over the last 365 days in the Premier League.
Franca, meanwhile, has averaged 5.3 successful take-ons and progressive carries alongside 1.8 tackles won per 90 in the same timeframe, whilst also scoring eight goals in 46 senior appearances for Flamengo.
The teenage phenomenon, who talent scout Jacek Kulig once described as “exciting“, has showcased his ability to make a big impact in transition and in the final third from a midfield or wide position whilst also putting the work in for his side to win possession back on a regular basis.
This suggests that the 19-year-old dynamo has the potential to follow in Joelinton’s footsteps and be another excellent, two-way, option for Howe to call upon in all competitions next season.