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Newcastle’s love affair with Ligue 1 raids to continue this summer

| 30.06.2015

Newcsatle’s seeming obsession with signing players from the French league has become somewhat of a running joke in recent years, and even with a new manager at the helm, that practice could be set to continue.

The Magpies have brought in a whopping nine players from Ligue 1 in the past two years, though this time it is not a Frenchman they are after.

Reports in Italy suggest that Steve McClaren has entered the race to snag Monaco’s Lucas Ocampos.

The Argentinean spent the second half of last season on loan at Marseille where he helped L’OM to fourth in the table with two goals and one assist from 14 appearances.

That move came after he struggled to hold down a starting berth at the Principality Club, though he made 17 appearances before his switch along the south coast of France.

The likes of Roma and Fiorentina are reportedly interested in signing the 20-year-old, but according to TuttiMercatoWeb, the prestige and the money that the Premier League could offer could tempt him for a switch to the UK.

Liverpool have been linked to his signature already this summer, but if first team football is important to the River Plate academy graduate a switch to St James’s Park might be the better option.

Newcastle’s style of play would certainly suit Ocampos.

The tricky winger likes to power down the flanks, taking on defenders with his excellent ball control before whipping the ball into the box at every occasion.

And according WhoScored.com, Newcastle were the most prolific team in the Premier League last season for using the width of the pitch.

In total 76 per cent of their attacks were focused on the wings, and with the additional quality in their ranks, can continue to use that style to their advantage.

Monaco paid his former Argentinean employers €8m for his signature three years ago, and although he has failed to make much of an impact this season are likely to want to make some sort of profit on their expenditure.

The attacker is the latest in a long line of youngsters Newcastle have been linked with this summer as they build towards their season opener against Southampton for which they are 9/5 underdogs.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.