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Chilean ‘bulldog’ can provide much-need bite at Newcastle

| 18.06.2014

Newcastle became such a soft touch in the last quarter of the 2013/14 season that freshly churned butter looked positively rigid in comparison.

However, that was the past (cue massive sigh of relief on Tyneside) and with a World Cup on there are plenty of players on show who could reinvigorate Newcastle’s squad for the forthcoming campaign.

One such player, who should have already shown up on Alan Pardew’s radar, is Cardiff and Chile’s tenacious midfielder-come-centre-back Gary Medel.

Having been relegated to the Championship, Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already exclaimed he will not stand in Medel’s way, who cost a cool £9m from Sevilla last summer.

There has been plenty of reported interest back over in Spain, with Malaga, Celta Vigo and Valencia all thought to be keen on offering him a new home in La Liga.

After turning in plenty of impressive displays for the Bluebirds in the Premier League last season it’s been somewhat surprising that other English clubs have not shown an interest in the versatile player.

Newcastle do have a warrior-type in Cheik Tiote, though the Ivory Coast international has often been linked with jumping ship and even if he stays, playing Medel alongside him could then release someone like Hatem Ben Arfa to play in the hole.

Medel is one of a perceived golden generation of Chileans and although he operates as a defensive midfielder at club level, he slots seamlessly in as a central defender for La Roja.

That’s where he started Chile’s comfortable Group B opening win over Australia, though he’s sure to be tested to the full against wounded World Cup holders Spain.

Odds of 5/1 for the Chile win back this theory up.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.