Newcastle Transfer: Top 5 Cheick Tioté Replacements
Chief scout Graham Carr, who recently signed an eight-year deal, looks for good players with fair transfer stocks.
Newcastle is emulating Arsenal's transfer dealings and it has worked wonders for Mike Ashley.
Toon supporters act as if Tioté is irreplaceable—he isn’t, and here are the top-five replacements for the Newcastle midfielder.
5. Tomás Rincón, Hamburg, Age: 24
Tomás Rincón leaves nothing to chance when defending.
He’s a ferocious tackler, who dominated the highly-rated Ganso in a 0-0 draw against Brazil during the 2011 Copa América.
Rincón averaged 3.7 tackles and 2.6 interceptions per game in the Bundesliga this season.
4. Michael Bradley, Chievo, Age: 24
Michael Bradley was a second-rate attacking midfielder but he’s found a new lease on life as a centre midfielder. He's gone a long way from the kid who ignited a frenzied debate about nepotism in the United States national team.
Domenico Di Carlo utilised a 4-3-1-2 at Chievo, so his three centre midfielders were burdened with excessive defensive responsibilities. Bradley averaged 3.1 tackles per game and was commanding in his displays for the Italian club.
3. Vurnon Anita, Ajax, Age: 23
Vurnon Anita played several unconvincing games at right-back. In a 4-2 loss to Feyenoord, he looked dangerous going forward but was suspect when defending—as evident when he failed to win the ball cleanly from Guyon Fernandez, who provided for Otman Bakkal’s goal.
Anita’s performances at left-back didn’t inspire confidence either. There’s a reason why Daley Blind, who is a squad player at best, managed to start several games at left-back.
When Anita started producing high-energy displays in midfield, he reinforced the opinion that he should always play as a defensive midfielder.
Don’t worry about his lack of height because Edgar Davids was a world-class marker at 5’7” —not to mention Wolfsburg’s pocket-dynamo Josué completed 131 tackles this season.
2. Vicente Iborra, Levante, Age: 24
Vicente Iborra was solid in midfield, winning back possession 236 times—109 times more than Cheick Tioté.
Iborra is 6’3”, he loves physical confrontation and he’ll be dirt-cheap.
AC Milan gambled when they signed Gennaro Gattuso from unfancied Salernitana. Newcastle should do the same with Levante’s Iborra.
1. Philipp Bargfrede, Werder Bremen, Age: 23
Verrückt is the perfect word to describe Philipp Bargfrede's defensive contributions for Werder Bremen.
In a 1-1 draw against Hoffenheim, he completed 14 tackles and seven interceptions. He shut down Hasan Salihamidzić during a 4-1 win over Wolfsburg. Bargfrede ranked second in the Bundesliga for tackles and interceptions per game.
His extensive injury record includes: a torn ligament, knee problems, heel-bone damage and countless contusions. This could foreshadow injuries down the line.
Comparing Bargfrede to Cheick Tioté
|Tackles Per Game||2.8||4.5|
|Tackles Per Foul||1.2||1.9|
|Interceptions Per Game||2.5||4.4|
Statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com.