Newcastle United have joined the race to sign Vitesse Arnhem’s Danilho Doekhi, with the defender looking to leave the Netherlands for a new challenge.
A product of the youth system for Dutch side Excelsior, Danilho Doekhi, 22, joined Jong Ajax in 2016. He made 35 appearances for Jong Ajax in the Netherlands’ second tier before sealing a move to Vitesse Arnhem in 2018, signing a four-year deal then which is set to expire in the summer of 2022. The 22-year-old has impressed for Vitesse ever since arriving at the club, but especially this campaign where he’s been a top performer of the side with the second-best defensive record in the Eredivisie.
Doekhi, who is also wanted by Rangers and Fulham, has made 28 league appearances so far this season, scoring a goal. The centre-back has missed just two league games this season for Vitesse who currently sit fourth in the Eredivisie table, four points off third-place AZ Alkmaar.
Meanwhile, Newcastle United have been embroiled in a relegation dogfight for the most part of the season. After a dismal run of form, the Toon Army have taken eight points in their last four games, including a vital point against Liverpool at Anfield at the weekend. This has seen Steve Bruce’s side establish a nine-point gap between themselves and the drop zone.
Newcastle have leaked goals for fun this season
Newcastle have conceded 54 goals in 33 games already, with none of their defenders putting inconsistent displays. They have been so poor defensively throughout the campaign, leaving Steve Bruce’s side currently with the joint-fourth worst defensive record in the Premier League.
Paul Dummett, Fabian Schar, and Jamaal Lascelles have all been plagued with injuries this term, while Ciaran Clark and Federico Fernandez are in their 30’s and already past their primes. None of the centre-backs have inspired confidence at the back, forcing Bruce to constantly chop and change things in the starting XI. However, as the Magpies are now likely to secure their top-flight survival, Bruce must make it a topmost priority of bolstering his defensive options in the summer transfer window.
Should the Magpies go for Danilho Doekhi?
The acquisition of a talented, young centre-back could just be the boost that Newcastle need to challenge for a top-half finish next season. In that regard, Danilho Doekhi could be the player that transforms Newcastle’s defence.
Doekhi has grown into a colossal presence at the back for Vitesse ever since arriving three years ago, amassing 90 appearances across all competitions. He has been one of the standout players in the Eredivisie this season and his addition would be a ray of hope for a Magpies side that has leaked goals for fun. With the in-form Dutchman in the squad, Bruce could form a strong backline alongside Lascelles and Schar, and thereby put an end to the club’s defensive woes. The fact that the Vitesse star is quick and athletic would make him ideal for the hustle and bustle of Premier League football.
With injuries being a major concern, the Magpies need a regular presence that would bring stability to their backline that has conceded way too many goals this term. Thus, Newcastle must do everything to their powers to sign Doekhi this summer.