NUFC Column: Why Moussa Diaby could be the ‘game changer’ for Newcastle United this summer

On the weekend that St James’ Park is playing host to Rugby League’s Magic Weekend - one signing in particular could transform Newcastle United’s window into a magic one this summer.

By Joe Buck
Friday, 8th July 2022, 12:45 pm
Updated Friday, 8th July 2022, 3:32 pm
Moussa Diaby of Bayer 04 Leverkusen could be a 'game changer' for Newcastle United this summer (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Moussa Diaby of Bayer 04 Leverkusen could be a 'game changer' for Newcastle United this summer (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Chants of ‘Bruno’s magic hat’ have invaded Newcastle United games since his arrival in January - and for good reason.

The Brazilian has already proven to be a masterstroke of a signing and one that has elevated the whole squad.

Guimaraes was the sparkle of magic that Newcastle needed post-January and now their survival is secure, more could yet be added.

Allan Saint-Maximin (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Sven Botman, Nick Pope and Matt Targett will add defensive solidity and supporters will be hoping the club can add to Eddie Howe’s attacking options before the summer is over.

One man that has been linked has been Bayer Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby, possibly one of European football’s brightest talents outside of the big two, namely Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe.

Much like Bruno, Diaby would add another bit of magic to Newcastle and, if they can get a deal for the Frenchman over the line, would be a huge statement of intent from the Magpies.

Diaby’s stats in the Bundesliga last season read: 32 appearances, 13 goals, 12 assists. Add to that another four goals and two assists in eight Europa League appearances - and you have a serious player on your hands.

Ryan Fraser celebrating his first goal of the season, scored against Everton in February (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Statistics like this are almost unheard of for a winger. For comparison, in the Premier League, Mo Salah contributed 23 goals and 13 assists last year. Son Heung-Min secured 23 goals and 7 assists with Jarrod Bowen grabbing 12 and 10 respectively - this is the type of company Diaby is keeping.

So what will it take for Newcastle to secure his signature? They will undoubtedly have to pay a club-record fee with Leverkusen currently holding out for a fee north of €60million.

There is hope that this fee may decrease as the window progresses, however, with Diaby tied down to Leverkusen until 2025, the German side have a great bargaining position in the market.

This type of fee may seem a major risk for someone who has never played in the Premier League, however, with Ryan Fraser and Allan Saint-Maximin at the club and showing signs of promise last season under Howe, there isn’t a burning need for Diaby to hit the ground running and post similar numbers next year.

Newcastle can employ a similar tactic to the one they used with Bruno and drip-feed Diaby into Premier League football week-by-week.

Callum Wilson’s injury problems are a known worry, Chris Wood only notched twice since his arrival while Saint-Maximin and Fraser have hardly set the world alight goal scoring-wise.

The ability to score goals on a regular basis is possibly where Diaby’s biggest strengths lie - and why there has been so much hype over a potential move for him this summer.

When you simply consider the numbers he posted last season, Diaby, who only turned 23 on Thursday, would be a ‘game changer’ for Newcastle United this summer and a signing that would put the rest of the Premier League on red alert should the Magpies seal a deal for the Frenchman.