By Danny Wright

Tyneside favourite Nikos Dabizas believes that Newcastle should try to sign Benfica midfielder Andreas Samaris this summer.

The Mirror reported in June that the Magpies were keen on completing a £17.5million deal for the 28-year-old and were reaching the final stages of the transfer.

Greek international Samaris featured as Benfica won the Portuguese league title last season, by making 18 league appearances as well as four more in the Champions League as he helped the Lisbon-based outfit reach the knock-out stages.

Dabizas, who was part of the famous Euro 2004 winning side with Greece, reckons that Samaris has all the right abilities to become a star of Rafa Benitez’s team as they prepare for life back in the Premier League.

“He is a Greek international and a very good athlete,” Dabizas said of Samaris to the Newcastle Chronicle. “He has the right mentality to play for Newcastle.

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“The most important thing to remember about Andreas is that he started in the lower leagues in Greece.

“I played against him when he played for Panionios.

“He has that desire and athleticism.”

Dabizas spent five years playing for Newcastle in the Premier League and also had spells with Olympiakos, Leicester and AEL in a career which ended in 2011.

Samaris also had a spell with Greek giants Olympiakos before he moved to his current team Benfica.

The defensive midfielder has made a total of 110 appearances for the Portuguese giants, scoring twice.

Newcastle have only made one addition to their squad after of their return to the top-flight after Christian Atsu’s loan stay at St. James’ Park was turned into a permanent one after an impressive season in the Championship.

In other Newcastle news, this highly-rated 21-year-old on the Magpies’ radar has been made available for a summer transfer.

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