Sandro Tonali: What to Expect From Newcastle’s New Italian Midfielder

After an incredible season that has seen them finish top four and return to the Champions League after two decades, Newcastle have made what could be one of the shocks of the summer transfer window. According to sources around the world of football, Newcastle have had a bid in the region of €70 million accepted by Milan for their young midfielder Sandro Tonali. This comes weeks after the sacking of legend Paolo Maldini as the club’s technical director. Maldini had a strong hand and bringing Tonali and many other high-profile players to Milan but many of those players weren’t too happy with the news of his departure.


One thing is clear, Milan needs to raise money if they want to have any flexibility in this transfer window. This news was not taken kindly by large portions of the fan base, Tonali was hailed as a future captain of the club and a player that was integral to the rebuild.  But the owners felt this offer was too good to refuse. It would help kick start their window and allow them to improve in other areas of need.


Although fans will not be happy seeing a young player with the qualities that Tonali has left, the owners may be right. €70 million for Tonali is a lot of money, and many people believe he is not worth that. Tonali has a lot of good qualities; leadership, work rate, good tackling, and a reliable set-piece taker, however, he lacks a lot of technical qualities. Although he plays in midfield, he is not quite comfortable receiving the ball under pressure, his passing isn’t what it should be for a player valued as highly and there are certainly better options for the price.


Milan certainly got the better of the deal, they can now reinvest the money and try to compete with the teams at the top having struggled massively this past season. However, from Newcastle’s perspective, when you invest that type of money into a player you should have a plan for them. Newcastle and head coach Eddie Howe have earned the benefit of the doubt and if they can utilise Tonali to help get the best out of him, they could be the ones with the last laugh.


Newcastle aren’t a team that builds out of the back, soaks in pressure, or draws teams out and tries to find the spaces. They are a fast, aggressive team that looks to impose themselves and Tonali could fit perfectly in a system like that. The big question, however, is whether or not he be able to cope in the Premier League and its physicality. Tonali may not be the best footballer, but he is certainly a fighter and will welcome the challenge.


The Magpies will be playing Champions League football next season, so they probably felt they needed a player of that calibre in the middle of the park. Whether the gamble of Tonali pays off or not is something we will have to find out later on but for now, Newcastle could have one of the brightest young names in Italian football starting for them next season. 


By: Mohamed Salad / @MohamedASalad

Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Sebastian Frej / MB Media / Getty Images