Why the arrival of Dan Burn can galvanize Newcastle United's defence?
BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - MAY 18: Dan Burn of Brighton and Hove Albion celebrates after scoring their side's third goal during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Manchester City at American Express Community Stadium on May 18, 2021 in Brighton, England. A limited number of fans will be allowed into Premier League stadiums as Coronavirus restrictions begin to ease in the UK following the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

After missing out on several of their defensive targets in the January transfer window, Newcastle United look to have finally made a breakthrough on Deadline Day

The Magpies previously failed in their attempts to sign the likes of Lille's Sven Botman, Sevilla's Diego Carlos and Monaco's Benoit Badiashile, but they received encouraging news when they had a £13m fee accepted for Brighton and Hove Albion centre-back Dan Burn and the 29-year-old is set to sign a two-and-a-half-year deal with his boyhood club. 

Understandably given their current league position, strengthening the defence has been a high priority for Newcastle throughout the window and Burn, who was born in Blyth, Northumberland would be a major upgrade to their current squad. 

It's been four years since Newcastle signed a defender as Federico Fernandez was the last centre-back to join the club in August 2018, which highlights why The Magpies have struggled in recent times from a defensive standpoint. 

Eddie Howe's black-and-whites have already signed four players this month, with the arrivals of Kieran Trippier, Chris WoodBruno Guimaraes and Matt Targett, who completed a loan move from Aston Villa until the end of the season, making it a busy and fulfilling transfer window on Tyneside

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Burn has all the ingredients to succeed at Newcastle

With 83 Premier League appearances to his name, Burn is a player who has four seasons of top-flight experience, three of which spent at Brighton where he has thrived under Graham Potter.

The six-foot seven inches defender has excelled on the South Coast since making his £4m move from Wigan Athletic in 2018 and in the 13 appearances he's made this season, Burn has formed a formidable centre-back partnership with Adam Webster, in the absence of the injured captain Lewis Dunk, as The Seagulls are unbeaten in their last six league matches.

Burn is naturally a left-footed centre-back, but can also play in left-back or the left of a back three which is where Newcastle desperately need more protection and to bring in a player of his calibre and expertise in the top-tier into a relegation battle will only boost their chances in staying up.  

The 29-year-old likes to play out from the back and is comfortable with the ball. Also, unsurprisingly, with his colossus size, he's particularly strong in aerial duels and has won 32 so far this season, more than the likes of Manchester City pair Ruben Dias (31) and Aymeric Laporte (27), Manchester United's Raphael Varane (31) and Liverpool's Fabinho (31). 

With The Magpies' dreadful defensive record this season where they have only kept just two clean sheets and conceded 43 goals in 21 matches - the second worst in the league behind only Norwich City (46) - Burn's presence would certainly offer the defence more stability and his physical attributes could fit perfectly into Howe's system. 

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A homecoming 18 years in the making

After he was released from the Newcastle academy at just 11-years-old, Burn has gone on to make a name for himself elsewhere across the football pyramid and has developed his playing style at several different clubs, including Fulham, Wigan and Brighton.  

If Howe opts to use Burn alongside captain Jamaal Lascelles, it's hoped that he can help the skipper reignite his form from the 2017/18 season when Newcastle finished 10th under then head coach Rafael Benitez.      

But if anyone can make a noticeable difference and give The Magpies defenders a confidence boost and steer them away from the relegation zone, it's Burn as his versatility is exactly what Newcastle need.

While his first stint at The Magpies didn't work out, this homecoming for the Geordie defender is the ideal time for all parties involved as Burn finally gets to wear his beloved black-and-white stripes, while Newcastle will add experience and quality to a nerve-racking defence. 

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