Newcastle: Mohammed Kudus is a huge ASM upgrade

The Ajax dynamo has been in fine fettle for club & country this season…

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe will be hoping to bolster the squad with firepower boasting Champions League credentials after securing top four, and Mohammed Kudus could be the perfect acquisition.

What’s the latest on Mohammed Kudus to Newcastle?
According to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, Newcastle – alongside divisional rivals Arsenal and Manchester United – have earmarked Ajax attacker Kudus following recent revelations over his availability this summer.

The Ghanaian World Cup star is contracted to the Johann Cruyff Arena until 2025 but rejected his outfit’s proposal of a contract extension, sparking fresh life into rumours that a deal could be achieved.

Valued at £40m, the 22-year-old would be an affordable option with proven pedigree on the biggest stage both for club and country, offering dynamism and cutting edge that will only serve to enhance the thriving crop at St. James’s Park.

Who could Kudus replace at Newcastle?
The aforementioned report states that Kudus might not be the first choice pick for the ambitious Premier League outfits, though this is something that could play into the hand of Magpies technical director Dan Ashworth as he charts a course for success at the recruitment table.

This season, the prolific gem has plundered 18 goals and six assists from 41 matches for Ajax, starting just 28 times; in the Champions League, Kudus has netted four goals and provided two assists, hailed as a “monster” by journalist Muftawa Nabila Abdulai.

Having scored seven times for his nation – including twice at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar – the 21-cap Ghanaian would be a brilliant addition to the Newcastle set-up, with one tactical report illustrating his incredible versatility, the ace flourishing in a deeper midfield role, the false-nine position and as an inverted forward out on the right flank.

Per FBref, the “electric” phenom – as lauded by talent scout Jacek Kulig – ranks among the top 2% of attacking midfielders and wingers across Men’s Next 8 divisions – the leagues beneath the top European five – for rate of non-penalty goals, the top 1% for pass completion, the top 1% for successful take-ons and the top 3% for touches in the attacking box, underscoring his brilliance both as an assured passer and a direct presence, unflinching and destructive in swift transitions.

He would be the dream replacement for Newcastle star Allan Saint-Maximin, who boasts fleet-footed excellence himself but is certainly lacking potency in front of the net.

Saint-Maximin has only scored once in the top flight this season from 30 appearances, despite his side’s resounding and resurgent success, and he has actually failed to get past the five-goal mark across all four of his campaigns on Tyneside.

With Kudus’ versatility and ‘electric’ presence on the ball partnering an innate knack for sniffing out goals in abundance, securing his services could come at a providential time for Howe and co, who could certainly do with a player boasting success in the Champions League.