Welcome to the second part of my Newcastle United targets scout reports series. In this article, I’ll be looking at Leganes midfielder Gabriel Pires. In the past few weeks, the Brazillian has been very heavily linked with Newcastle, with Newcastle apparently looking to activate his £6 million buyout clause. It’s being reported that West Ham and Everton are also in the running for him.

Background info
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Pires started his career at Italian giants Juventus in 2011 although he never made an appearance for the club. For the next six seasons of his career, he was loaned out to several second division Italian sides until he finally found his groove at Spanish team Leganés. After making 40 appearances for Leganés, the Spanish side activated his €1 million buyout clause. This season Pires has played 31 matches and scored four goals; the pick of them being a goal from the halfway line against Real Betis.

Style of play
The Brazilian plays in the center of midfield. He has a decent passing range and the flair to take his man on and dribble past them. I think he would play well if he were partnered with Shelvey and Hayden as Hayden provides defensive stability and Shelvey can get the ball up the pitch quickly. One strength of his game is his set plays, scoring a lovely free kick against Barcelona, which you can see below. He’s still young (23 years old) and already showing skill and flair which can be improved a lot under Benitez.

Pros

First of all is the price of Pires. He’s available for only £6 million, which is absolutely nothing in today’s market. It’s a relatively low-risk move for a player who is already showing good signs of ability. This could end up being a massive bargain as we may have stumbled upon the next world beater. He can also fill in for Shelvey when he’s absent which is the biggest problem in the squad.

Cons
Buying a player who isn’t already proven in the Premier League is a risk as there is quite a high chance of him being a flop. The Brazillian league obviously isn’t the most challenging league but it has some produced some top players. Newcastle have a long list of players who have been bought from abroad and being a massive disappointment. Again, this is a little bit of a worry but in Rafa we trust.

Feature image credit: Martin Le Roy

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