Newcastle United have had the most ameliorated performance in the Premier League after the winter transfer window. Currently, they are sitting in 9th position with 43 points from 34 matches. The revamp arc under their new ownership started in winder transfer window, where Newcastle made a few additions to their squad with the likes of Trippier, Bruno and Chris Wood.
But this is still a start to what looks like a very bright future at Tyneside. And according to the reports The Magpies have enquired about the services of PSG youngster, Arnaud Kalimuendo. Newcastle United would be desperate to fight off interest from domestic rivals Leicester City in their pursuit of Ligue 1 teenager Arnaud Kalimuendo, according to Foot Mercato.
Arnaud Kalimuendo – Player profile
The 20-year-old French youngster, Arnaud Kalimuendo, came through the ranks at PSG which he had joined in 2012. The Suresnes born has made 4 appearances for the senior side before being loaned out to Ligue 1 rivals, Lens in 2020. In his 2 years loan tenure, he has bagged 19 goals and 6 assists in 64 matches for Lens in Ligue 1. His loan deal expires at the end of this season and he is supposed to return to Parc de Princes. A not so prolific goalscorer, Kalimuendo has been touted as a youngster with great potential and can reach up to great heights if nourished properly.
This season, the 20-year-old has 10 goals in 30 Ligue 1 games, putting him three goals ahead of Seko Fofana in the team’s scoring records. He is under contract with PSG until the summer of 2024 and is valued at £10.8 million by Transfermarkt. Arnaud was an efficient goal scorer in the youth levels where he has almost 60 goals by his name in 2 years. At the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil in 2019, he finished third with the U17 team, scoring a hat-trick in the third-place play-off to defeat the Netherlands 3–1. He has an impressive record of 4 goals in 9 games for France U21. He also won the Titi D’Or award in 2020, which is given to PSG’s most promising young prospect. Kalimuendo’s manager at Lens, Franck Haise, believes he possesses all of the qualities that a modern striker requires, describing him as the ‘prototype striker of the present.’
What does he bring to the table for Eddie Howe?
Eddie Howe currently possesses 2 center forwards in Callum Wilson and Chris Wood. The former is very injury prone as he has only featured in 15 matches this season while the latter has only found the net 2 times since his transfer from Burnley. With 0.47 goals per 90, Kalimuendo is an obvious upgrade over the 33-year-old Chris Wood ( 0.17).
The Frenchman has also out-performed his xG of 7.6 by scoring 10 league goals this season while on the other hand, the Kiwi striker has been below par with his xG of 7.1 by netting only 5 times this season (but it’s lot different playing top tier English football and especially the role that Wood plays beyond netting balls). Kalimuendo also has a much better pass completion rate with 82.8 % as compared to Wood’s 62.2 %.
What next for Arnaud Kalimuendo?
Arnaud does have the option to get back to Paris and try his luck in the senior team but the truth is PSG have a plethora of attacking options. It would be very tough for the youngster to break into the playing 11. The Ligue 1 champions are open to offers for the youngster at around 11 million euros. When it comes to recruiting the 20-year-old, Newcastle has a few roadblocks to overcome. Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City team could cause a snub, while PSG is yet to make a decision on his future. Newcastle could blow the cash ahead of the 2022/23 season, given their enormous wealth. Chris Wood’s recruitment was a flop, and they’ll need to bring in a consistent goalscorer in the summer. While Kalimuendo is far from prolific, with the appropriate training, he could become one. Kalimuendo’s contract in Paris is currently set to expire in 2024.