Mitchel Bakker: Who is the former PSG star linked with Newcastle United and why does Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel hold him in high regard?

Newcastle are reportedly closing in on another defensive addition.

Dutch defender Mitchel Bakker could be the next man through the door at St James’s Park with reports suggesting that Newcastle are set to discuss personal terms with him and his representatives over a potential £14.5m move from Bayer Leverkusen.

But who exactly is Mitchel Bakker? Here, we take a look at what type of player he is and what could be expected of him if he signed for Newcastle United:

Who is Mitchel Bakker?

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Bakker is a 21-year-old left-back who currently plays for Bayer Leverkusen.

Bakker’s father, Edwin, was a winger who spent his whole career in the Eredivisie. Much like his father, Mitchel Bakker started his career at Ajax and is a product of their world-renowned academy system.

However, a first-team appearance at the Johan Cruijff Arena eluded the left-back as he was snapped up on a free-transfer by PSG in 2019.

He became a regular under Thomas Tuchel in Paris, but saw his playing time reduced when Mauricio Pochettino took the reins.

Bayer Leverkusen defender Mitchel Bakker (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images)Bayer Leverkusen defender Mitchel Bakker (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images)
Bayer Leverkusen defender Mitchel Bakker (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images)
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Bakker moved to Bayer Leverkusen last summer for £8m and has been a regular in Bundesliga ever since - starting every game he has been available for. He has earned 12 caps for Netherlands Under-21’s.

What type of player is he?

Standing at 6’1” tall, Bakker may not seem like a modern left-back, however, his technical ability on the ball means that he is a strong carrier of the ball.

Bakker can play either as a traditional left-back or as a left centre-back in a back-three and has three assists in the league this season.

Bayer Leverkusen’s sporting director Rudi Voller has described the Dutchman as a ‘modern’ full-back: "Mitchel Bakker combines athletic qualities such as pace and strength in challenges with footballing ability. He is a modern full-back with a strong desire to get forward and he'll help our team."

Thomas Tuchel praise

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As mentioned, Bakker became a regular under the current Chelsea manager whilst at PSG and Tuchel has spoken highly of the ‘reliable’ Dutchman, saying:

“He was reliable and focused. I am very happy with Mitch and his physical qualities. It’s not easy for him because there is always a lot of pressure. You always have to win. But he responds well to that.”

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