Newcastle United make contact for Ekitike alternative in Sekou Mara

Anthony Onifade
By Anthony Onifade
5 Min Read

Newcastle United are reportedly ready to make contact to sign Girondins de Bordeaux forward Sekou Mara, as they seek out an alternative to former target Hugo Ekitike who joined Paris Saint-Germain. 

According to journalist Loic Tanzi, the Magpies have set their sights on Sekou Mara.

The Bordeaux forward is attracting interest from a whole host of clubs across Europe following his impressive performances in the French Ligue 1 and for France’s Under-20 side at the Maurice Revello Tournament last month. Newcastle are among the clubs keen on his services, with Atletico Madrid, Lyon and AS Monaco also involved in the chase.

A former member of the youth system at Paris Saint-Germain, the France youth international joined Bordeaux in 2017 on a free transfer. The 19-year-old wonderkid has flourished ever since, directly contributing to 11 goals in 36 senior outings for Les Girondins.

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After Newcastle’s long chase of compatriot Hugo Ekitike ended when he opted to join French giants PSG on loan, the Magpies are swiftly in the market for an alternative wonderkid forward, and Sekou Mara surely fits the bill.

Bordeaux have experienced a rather torrid time of late. Once a stalwart of Ligue 1 and a Champions League regular, the club endured relegation to Ligue 2 after a dreadful 2021/22 campaign. The club have now suffered the ignominy of being relegated to the Championnat National due to their financial troubles. The club is likely to appeal the decision over the coming weeks as they believe it to be ‘brutal’.

A bright spark of the club’s dour season has been the emergence of Sékou Mara, the young striker has broken through into the first team. He is predicted to be the next star of French football, with great talent and immeasurable understanding of the game.

The Rumours

Taking to Twitter, Tanzi – a journalist for French outlet L’Equipe – suggested that the Toon are set to make their move to sign the French youth superstar.

He tweeted: “After the failure of the Ekitike track, Newcastle will embark on Sekou Mara. The Magpies will contact Bordeaux, which is asking for 15 million euros excluding bonuses and % on resale. Atletico, who need to sell first, are there too.”

How did Sekou Mara fare last campaign?

Sekou Mara has just had his first big season of first-team football in Ligue 1 but still hasn’t played that many minutes. There were eight league starts and 18 sub appearances but still managed to play only 895 minutes.

The 6ft tall striker scored six goals, with five of those coming in his last seven appearances (both starting and as a sub) of the season.

Signing Mara at the reported €15m (£12.7m) asking price would represent a superb risk-free investment from PIF given the forward’s age, potential and ever-rising stock.

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Boasting similar stylistic traits to such renowned target men as Olivier Giroud, Gianluca Scamacca and Jonathan David as per FBRef, the talented teenager should be regarded as a top target for Eddie Howe.

Certainly, his game needs more refining in order to perform consistently at the top level, but considering the vastly improving environment entailing much work-ethic, development and top-level coaching that Howe is fostering inside St James Park, it is one Mara could well thrive in.

Investing in such a prestigious young forward could potentially set Newcastle United up well for the future, with the young striker learning off the likes of Callum Wilson who he could ultimately come to replace in the long term.

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