Reports in the Scottish Sun claim that Newcastle are lining up a £5 million bid for Celtic striker Gary Hooper.
We were first linked with Hooper when we were promoted to the Premier League but he then went to Celtic for £2.4 million and in just over a season his price tag has over doubled. I was disappointed when we didn’t get him then, because I thought he’d be a perfect foil for Andy Carroll at the time.
Gary Hooper is another player who learnt his trade at Scunthorpe after joining them as a youngster. Scunthorpe is somewhere that seems to nurture good young player’s season after season and sell them on to better clubs at a big profit; Billy Sharp and Jermaine Beckford were also from Scunthorpe but failed to make an impact in the big time.
Hooper’s record looks very good on paper with 43 league goals in 80 appearances at Scunthorpe he really shone. Some of them goals were in League 1, but his two seasons in the Championship for Scunthorpe saw him score 50 goals in all competitions.
I know it’s only the Championship, but it’s worth thinking about the fact that Scunthorpe were never big players in that division and he scored as many as, or more than our strikers that we won that league with and one of them was worth £35 million.
That earned Hooper his big move to Celtic where in his first season he scored 20 goals in 26 league games. I know the SPL is not great quality but still, that’s some goal scoring record. Hooper’s started this season with a ratio of a goal every other league game scoring 4 goals in 8.
I know some people will be sceptical from the start as he’s coming from the Scottish League but I really do think Hooper has talent. He’s not a Boumsong, he’s a hard worker and I think he’d fit in well in the Premier League. As he’s smaller he creates different opportunities and scores different types of goals to Ba and Best, which would give us an extra dimension to our play.
Also he’s only 23 years old and he has a lot of experience under his belt. That means he’s in the age group we’re looking to sign and at a price tag of around £5 million I feel that he’d be good value, compared to some other strikers on the market. Ahem Andy Carroll.
I’m not saying that Hooper is the answer to all of our problems, neither is he the best striker we could get, but I wouldn’t be unhappy with signing him. He’d be reasonably priced, he’s a good finisher and he’d offer us something different and he doesn’t seem like he’d upset the dressing room like Maiga could potentially do.
Whenever I’ve seen him play I’ve been impressed and I feel that he’d thrive on the opportunities that our now very creative team will give to him. One problem I do have with him is the stupid number he’s chosen at Celtic, I would not give him the “88” at Newcastle… but I wouldn’t give him the 9 either.
Here’s a little YouTube video for anybody who wants to check out the tekkers of another “potential” target.
Would you like to see Hooper in a Newcastle shirt?