Howe could help Livramento thrive by sealing Newcastle swoop for “complete” £50M titan

Howe could be eyeing a Bundesliga defender to complete his high-flying team.

Newcastle United‘s summer spending appears to be approaching its culmination, with Eddie Howe‘s side reported to be closing in on a £35m deal for Chelsea youngster Lewis Hall – however, links for further defensive reinforcements persist.

Last week, the Toon manager proclaimed he would “love one more signing” after already tying up deals for playmaker Sandro Tonali, winger Harvey Barnes and young full-back Tino Livramento.

And with Hall looking destined for a date with St. James’ Park, perhaps the work is indeed done.

However, there remains a need, if not desperate, to bolster the central defence, and technical director Dan Ashworth could make the perfect move by landing Bayer Leverkusen’s Edmond Tapsoba.

What’s the latest on Edmond Tapsoba to Newcastle?

The Burkina Faso international, according to journalist Craig Hope, is on a shortlist of centre-backs to bolster the Magpies backline, though Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur are also interested.

The report revealing Spurs’ interest claims that Leverkusen would accept a bid of £50m, and whether Newcastle can pay such a sum after extravagant spending remains to be seen.

How good is Edmond Tapsoba?

While Howe has claimed that Newcastle’s transfer activity this summer is likely done and dusted, an injury to either Fabian Schar and Sven Botman would perhaps usher in the din of the alarm bells, with Dan Burn – the club’s starting left-back – the only other regular to feature in the central defence.

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Long-serving stalwart Jamal Lascelles is also an option, but started just twice in the English top-flight last season. With the 31-year-old Schar’s contract expiring next summer, it’s hardly surprising United are assessing the market for a new centre-half.

Tapsoba looks to be the perfect option stylistically, with the 6 foot 4 colossus recording an average Sofascore rating of 6.88 in the league last term, completing 86% of his passes, making 1.5 tackles and three clearances per game and winning 62% of his ground duels.

Howe’s system last term was built upon slick, progressive passing to break lines and patiently work through the thirds, and the 24-year-old also ranks among the top 10% of centre-backs across Europe’s top five leagues over the past year for passes attempted, the top 5% for progressive passes and the top 7% for progressive carries and successful take-ons per 90, as per FBref – which makes him look like a tailor-made fit.

Right-footed, such a skill set would benefit Livramento, with the dynamic right-back completing a £32m transfer from relegated Southampton this summer after playing just twice last year due to injury.

Described as a “future star” by former teammate Theo Walcott, the 20-year-old joined Saints from Chelsea for £5m in 2021, recording an average rating of 6.88 in the 2021/22 Premier League, completing 79% of his passes, making 1.9 tackles and 1.7 interceptions and clearances from his marauding role.

He was even praised for his “excellent” start by England manager Gareth Southgate, with his noteworthy ball-carrying and dribble volume remarked upon by The Athletic.

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To thrive up and down the flank, Livramento could do with such a pass-proficient and “complete” defender such as Tapsoba – as he was once praised by scout Jacek Kulig – to provide a constant flow of creativity behind him, allowing him to maximise his potential at St. James’ Park.