Sandro Tonali strengths, weaknesses and injury history ahead of blockbuster Newcastle United move

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Sandro Toanli is on the verge of completing a £60 million move to Newcastle United from AC Milan in a big statement of intent from Eddie Howe.

Newcastle United are on the verge of completing a marquee summer signing in the acquisition of Sandro Tonali from AC Milan in a bumper £60 million deal.

The club are reportedly organising a medical for the star after agreeing to personal terms on a six-year contract worth £6.8 million, making him the side's highest-paid player.

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Magpies supporters will no doubt be aware of the star who has made high-profile Champions League appearances but NewcastleWorld is on hand to look at exactly what the star can bring to Tyneside.

Tonali is a defensive midfielder but can push slightly higher up the pitch to play in a more central role. Last season the Italian made 37 appearances in defensive midfield and just 10 in central midfield. A role higher up did lead to a more prolific output with a goal and three assists in central midfield appearances compared to a goal and seven assists in the 37 matches at defensive midfield.

There's also good news for Newcastle United fans when it comes to Tonali's injury history. Keeping a fit squad will be vital for Eddie Howe next season with the increased number of fixtures thanks to the return of Champions League football.

During his professional career, Tonali has never been out for more than 16 days with an injury niggle and that was back in the 2019/20 season when playing for Brescia Calcio. Since moving to AC Milan in 2021 the star has never missed more than two matches in a row due to injury or illness.

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Sandro Tonali is a robust midfielder (Image: Getty Images)Sandro Tonali is a robust midfielder (Image: Getty Images)
Sandro Tonali is a robust midfielder (Image: Getty Images) | Getty Images

No player managed more minutes for AC Milan than Tonali last season with no one creating more chances or making more tackles either, proving the player is the full package.

Tonali has been branded the 'new Pirlo' in Italy as a nod to his style of play echoing that of legendary Italian midfielder Andrea Pirlo and his passing ability. However, the incoming to Tyneside names his idol as Gennaro Gattuso and certainly has an element of Gattuso's bite to his performances.

WhoScored note Tonali's list of strengths as key passes, set pieces, concentration, tackling and blocking the ball. His list of weaknesses is limited to just one, which is aerial duels.

The midfielder may lack prowess in the air, but he is 5 ft 9 in tall which is more or less the same as Bruno Guimaraes but smaller than 6 ft 1 in Joelinton. AC Milan of course made it to the semi-final of last season's Champions League competition where they were knocked out by local rivals Inter Milan.

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AC Milan failed to score in either the first or second leg as they whimpered to a 3-0 aggregate defeat but Tonali was a bright spark in the disappointing performances.

The Independent provided player ratings from the second leg and gave Tonali the joint-highest afforded to AC Milan stars. The report stated: "One brilliant driving run down the left created Milan’s best early opening. Was the one really trying to drive the team forward for most of the match but too few matched his endeavour."

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