Newcastle United: Howe can ease out Burn with Dimarco

If Newcastle United are after an exciting option to replace Dan Burn at left-back, look no further than Inter Milan’s Federico Dimarco.

Newcastle United appear set to make it a double raid on Serie A as they look to add to the imminent arrival of Sandro Tonali by bringing in Federico Dimarco.

Widespread reports on Wednesday suggested Newcastle are increasingly confident of bringing in Tonali for a fee in the region of £60m, but the ambitious Magpies are not likely to stop there.

Newcastle transfer news – Dimarco a target for Ashworth
According to NUFC Blog, Newcastle sporting director Dan Ashworth has not just flown to Italy to speak to AC Milan about a deal for Tonali, but also Inter Milan regarding a move for Dimarco.

It would be quite the coup for Newcastle should they pull off the transfer, as Dimarco is a player who has been touted as a €35m (£30m) target for Real Madrid and Manchester United this summer.

The ten-cap Italy international still has three years to run on his San Siro contract, so Inter will not feel obliged to sell unless their valuation is met in full.

Where would Federico Dimarco fit in at Newcastle United?
It is no secret that Eddie Howe is after a new left-back this window to rival – or more likely replace – Dan Burn for the 2023-24 season and beyond. While Burn largely did a good job there last season, the fan favourite is not expected to start there in the Champions League next season.

Kieran Tierney had been strongly linked with a switch from Arsenal to St James’ Park, but news on that front has gone quiet of late and it now appears Dimarco is Howe’s favoured option.

It is clear to see why, too, as Dimarco played a big part in Inter’s run to last season’s Champions League final, starting ten of their 13 games – including the full 90 minutes of the 1-0 defeat to Manchester City in Istanbul.

Dimarco can play left-back and also left wing-back given his attacking nature, highlighted by his eight goals for Inter in all competitions last season. Indeed, The Analyst ranks the Italian in the top 2% of all defenders last term for goals scored across Europe’s top five leagues last season.

No defender across Serie A, Ligue 1, LaLiga, Bundesliga and the Premier League performed better than Dimarco in terms of shots, touches in the opposition penalty box and chances created.

To put those figures into some perspective, Dimarco’s 0.20 goals per 90 minutes last season, as per FBref, compares to 0.05 for Burn, who was also occasionally used at centre-back.

Dimarco assisted ten goals last season, meanwhile, whereas Burn did not set up a single goal, while the Inter defender’s 2.01 shots per 90 minutes compares to 0.67 for Burn.

The former Hellas Verona loanee is also a threat in terms of his deliveries, much like Kieran Trippier on the opposite flank, earning praise from European football expert Carlo Garganese for his “world-class” crosses and set-pieces.

That is not to say Burn does not have his own qualities in other areas, and the same is true of Dimarco in terms of his weaknesses.

For example, Burn wins 2.43 aerial duels per 90 minutes, compared to 0.23 for Dimarco, while the latter is also second best in terms of tackles won (0.98 v 1.07) and blocks (0.80 v 1.21).

Ultimately, Howe must decide whether he wants to be cautious on that side of the pitch or integrate a player into the team capable of getting even more out of the likes of Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson. Should he go with the latter option, this move would no doubt be bad news for their current towering full-back.

In an exciting new era at St James’ Park with Champions League football set to return, Dimarco is surely the man for Howe to go for.