Newcastle United may have managed to secure a deal for Alexander Isak late in the day in the recent window, although one man who escaped their clutches was that of Edson Alvarez, with the Ajax midfielder having been a top target for the Magpies over the summer.
According to the Sunday Mirror, via the Express, the Tynesiders are said to have seen an offer of around £35m rejected by the Dutch outfit for the Mexico international, with the Eredivisie giants reluctant to sell having already seen a whole host of a top-class talent move elsewhere.
The 24-year-old – who had also attempted to push through a late move to Chelsea by reportedly going on strike – was ultimately forced to stay put in Amsterdam, with his current side said to value him at more than €50m (£43m).
While it may have been Ajax’s unwillingness to sell that put paid to a move to the Premier League, the northeast side may be regretting not placing a more sizeable offer in order to tempt Alfred Schreuder’s side into a sale, with the player having since gone on to sparkle in the early weeks of the new season.
The defensive-minded “monster”, as lauded by journalist Felipe Cardenas, has already impressed both domestically and in Europe of late, notably averaging 2.4 tackles and 1.2 interceptions per game in the league thus far – with that record only just behind Magpies star Bruno Guimaraes, who has averaged three tackles and 1.3 interceptions in the 2022/23 campaign.
Equally, in the Champions League, the £27m-rated gem has also caught the eye so far this term, scoring an early header in the 4-0 thrashing of Scottish Premiership side Rangers at the Johan Cruyff Arena last week.
Did Newcastle need Edson Alvarez?
Lauded for that “exceptional” performance by Statman Dave – in which he recorded an impressive 90% pass accuracy – the 55-cap menace followed that up with another bright showing against Liverpool on Tuesday evening, making an impressive seven clearances and three interceptions in that narrow 2-1 defeat at Anfield.
Such displays will no doubt be of real frustration to those back at St James’ Park, with manager Eddie Howe seemingly in need of more midfield depth, particularly with Jonjo Shelvey currently sidelined with a long-term injury.
Having Alvarez in the Englishman’s ranks would have provided the Newcastle boss with a real solid, defensive asset to line up in front of the back four, with that role having been vacated by Isaac Hayden’s loan departure.
It is yet to be seen if the ship has sailed regarding a possible move for the Mexican, although on the recent evidence the competition for his signature is only set to increase, with sporting director Dan Ashworth having had something of a blunder by not doing more to get a deal done.