5 U21 Defenders Around Europe Who Could Shape Newcastle's Future

James Budgen

Goncalo Inacio

Last season, Goncalo Inacio got into the starting XI for Sporting Lisbon who won the Primeira Liga and lost just one game in 18 months, but while the performances weren’t outstanding, the potential is clear to see.

This season, however, his performances have vastly improved and he is looking like he could make an impact on a team in a top league and it looks just a matter of time until we see him make the move elsewhere.

For Sporting, Inacio plays in a back three as one of the wide centre-backs, a formation which Eddie Howe has implemented at points in his tenure as Newcastle manager. Inacio has both on-ball and off-ball abilities which could work really well as a wide centre-back in the Premier League.

The 20-year-old Portuguese star could cost Newcastle between £15m-£25m.

Maxence Lacroix

Maxence Lacroix made the jump from Ligue 2 club Sochaux to Bundesliga club Wolfsburg in the summer of 2020 for only €5m at 19 years old and quickly made an impression and rapidly became their starting central defender.

In just his first season in a top flight league, Lacroix was the main part of a defence that conceded the second least amount of goals in the Bundesliga and finished fourth to qualify for the Champions League. This season the team have dipped dramatically, falling to 14th in the Bundesliga, however, it has been their attack that has let them down.

With Lacroix, Newcastle will be investing in a player that not only has the potential to be one of the best central defenders in the league, they will be investing in someone who has shown at Wolfsburg that he can make an instant impact on a team.

Lacroix could cost Newcastle between £25m-£35m.

Ilya Zabarnyi

Ilya Zabarnyi broke into both the Dynamo Kyiv team and the Ukraine national setup last season, and after a great first campaign, he is now touted as one of the best young centre-backs in football. At just 19 years of age, Zabarnyi has played in the Champions League, Europa League, World Cup qualifiers and the European Championship.

The Ukraine man has very good defensive instincts, which along with solid defensive and physical attributes has made him a very promising prospect on the continent.

Zabarnyi also has some excellent on-ball ability, but it is his defensive ability that can improve Newcastle right now, especially if they have an experienced defender next to him who can cover for him when he regularly steps out of defence.

The Dynamo Kyiv man has experience against some of the world's best forwards, which could help out the transition into the Premier League and Zabarnyi could cost Newcastle between £15m-£30m.

Saidou Sow

Saidou Sow is a 19-year-old Guinean international playing for Saint-Etienne who this season has been one of the breakout players in the Ligue 1 and a shining light in a team most likely to get relegated.

Sow is a modern-day central defender, and he is solid on the ball, has great athletic attributes, whilst also having well-known defensive instincts. He is a similar player to former Saint-Etienne defender, Wesley Fofana, who came to the Premier League and flourished at Leicester City.

With Saint Etienne most likely getting relegated, they may be willing to sell Sow at a cut-price, with Newcastle potentially able to get him for under £10m, which is a great price for the impact he could have on their team.

Benoit Badiashile

Benoit Badiashile has been on the radar of major European clubs for a few years now and with the 20-year-old Frenchman not only having the potential to be a top class central defender, but being that already, he is set to cost a bit more than the others mentioned here.

It was noticeable since Badiashile made his debut as a 17-year-old for AS Monaco that he had immense physical attributes, standing at 6ft 4. He's also quite quick for someone this size and he looks to be the perfect physical specimen for the Premier League.

Badiashile has made 83 appearances in Ligue 1 already, so Newcsatle will be investing in a left-footed center back that has vast experience at such a young age, but also if he develops technically to match his physical attributes, he could become one of the best in his position.

Badiashile would cost Newcastle between £40-£50m, but it might end up looking like a bargain.


⚽️ GET £30 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU PLACE A £10 BET ⚽️
New customers only. First single & e/w bet only odds of 1/1 or greater. 3 x £10 bet tokens. Free bet stakes are not included in returns. Free bets are only redeemable on football. Free bets are non-withdrawable. No free bet expiry. Eligibility restrictions and further t&cs apply. 18+.
Claim Bonus
🟢 Bet £10 & Get £50 in free bets! 🟡
For new customers. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🔸 BET £10 AND GET £30 IN FREE BETS! 🔸
New Customer offer. Place a min £10 bet on the Sportsbook on odds of min 1/2 (1.5), get £30 in Free Bets. Rewards valid for 30 days. SMS verification required. Only deposits via cards will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly
Claim Bonus
⚽️ BET £10 & GET £40 IN FREE BETS! (MOBILE ONLY) ⚽️
Sign-up via Mobile using promo code N40 and place a bet of £10/€10 or more and we will give you 4x £10/€10 free bets. By entering the Promo code in the box above you agree to the full terms and conditions of this promotion as displayed below. See full terms below.
Claim Bonus
⚽️ UP TO £50 MONEY BACK AS CASH IF ANY OF YOUR FIRST 5X £10 FOOTBALL BETS LOSE ⚽️
Place 5x£10 Sportsbook bets on any market at minimum odds of 2.0 (Evs), and get money back as Cash if it loses. Max refund per qualifying bet is £10 (up to £50 in total). Only deposits made via Cards will be eligible for the promotion (Apple Pay excluded). T&Cs apply
Get Offer
🔷 GET £30 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU BET £10 🔷
Full T&C’s Apply. New customers on mobile only. 7 days to claim and stake £10 minimum bet at odds of 1.5 or greater to qualify. Free, void, cashed out or partially cashed out bets do not qualify. Max 3x £10 free bets credited on bet settlement. Free bets must be used on 4 or more selections with selection odds of 1.3 or greater. Free bets are non-withdrawable and stake not returned with winnings. 7 day expiry. 18+ BeGambleAware.org.
Claim Bonus
🟠 BET £10 & GET £20 IN FREE BETS! 🟠
*New members. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from crediting (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. Click here for Rules & Exclusions. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org
CLAIM HERE
🔴 GET £20 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU BET £5 🔴
18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Certain deposit methods & bet types excl. Min first £/€5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 to get 4x £/€5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions + T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
✅ BET £10 & GET £30 IN FREE BETS ✅
New UK, IE & Malta customers only. 18+. Min £10/€10 first deposit using Debit Card or Trustly. Place a bet of £10 at min odds of 1.5. Free bets expire in 90 days. Full T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🔹 GET £30 IN BONUSES WHEN YOU BET £5 🔹
18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £5 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days of registering, no cashout. Get 2x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus a £10 Slot Bonus, selected games, wager 20x to withdraw max £250. 7 day bonus expiry. Card payments only. T&Cs apply, see below. begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly
Claim Bonus
✅ GET A FREE BET UP TO £35 + 10 FREE SPINS ✅
If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £35 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free online casino spins at QuinnCasino. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only | BeGambleAware.org
Claim Bonus
BET £5 & GET £30 IN BONUSES
18+ New Customers opt in, bet £5 & get 2x £10 Free Bets for set events (odds 2.00+) + £10, Slots Bonus, selected games, 35x wagering to withdraw max £250. Bonuses expire in 7 days. Card Payments only. T&Cs Apply, see below. | begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly
Claim Bonus
🎉 BET £10 & GET £60 FREE BETS! 🎉
New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+). First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🟢 UP TO £40 MONEY BACK AS BONUSES + A £10 CASINO BONUS 🟢
18+ begambleaware.org. New customers only. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus if first sports bet loses. Wagering requirements: sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 50x. Unless forfeited the sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Bonus expires 7 days after opt-in. Visit Unibet.co.uk for full T&C's. #Ad
Claim Bonus
🔵 BET £10 & GET £20 IN FREE BETS + ACCA REWARDS OF YOUR CHOICE! 🔵
New UK customers (Excluding NI) only. Mobile exclusive. Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. Free bet applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. 30 days to qualify. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. 1 Free Bet offer per customer, household & IP Address only. 18+. T&C's Apply **18+. Choose either Boost or Insurance. Available for in-play/pre-match bets on selected sports. You cannot use specials, boosts, any free bet or any other promotion. A minimum of 5 selections and minimum odds of 1/5 per selection/leg to receive Acca Rewards. Minimum stake of £/€0.05. Max free bet refund of £/€20 per Acca for Insurance. Maximum bonus payout is €/£1,000 per Acca for boost. Free bets, cashed out or voided bets will not qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
♥️ GET £40 FREE PLAY PLUS A £10 FREE SPORTS BET! ♥️
1st time depositors only. Min. deposit £10. Use code FAPOKER. Free Play given as cash, Spin & Go tickets, and a Sports Free Bet over 6 days. Tickets expire after 24 hours. Withdrawal restricted during bonus period. Terms apply.
Claim Bonus
🔵 GET £20 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU BET £5 🔵
18+ New UK & ROI Customers only. Min deposit £5. Min first £5 bet at minimum odds 1/2 to qualify for 1x 20 free bet. Certain deposit methods and bet types excl. Free bet valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions + T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
⚫️ GET A £30 MATCHED FREE BET IF YOUR FIRST FOOTBALL ACCA LOSES!!!! ⚫️
*New UK customers only. Min Deposit: £5. Maximum Free Bet: £30. First bet on a Football multiple with 3+ selections. Overall odds: 3.00 (2/1) or higher. Free Bets available upon settlement of the qualifying bet. Debit card deposits only. This is offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. 18+ BeGambleAware.org Full terms apply.
Claim Bonus