According to the Chronicle, Rafa Benitez has prepared a 50-man list of potential striker targets this summer – highlighting just how much work he’s put into to ensure the club have a proven goalscorer next season.
Whilst we were solid at the back last season – having the 7th best defence in the Premier League in 2017/18 – we often struggled for goals and ended up drawing or losing games we could’ve won if we had someone more clinical in front of goal.
No one got into double figures and our top scorer was Perez with just 8 league goals, with he, Gayle and Joselu (our only three striking options throughout the season) mustering a total of 18 goals between them all season.
With this, Slimani’s failed loan move and Mitrovic’s imminent sale in mind, it’s clear we need a new striker or two this summer, and it appears to be Rafa’s number one priority.
Here’s what the Chronicle have revealed on his bid to bring in a ‘quality’ striker over the coming months, confirming that Rafa has ‘over 50 strikers’ earmarked to look through with the NUFC board this summer:
“Signing a “quality” striker, as Benitez himself termed it, is the No 1 priority for Newcastle in the transfer market over the coming months.
“Mainz’s Yoshinori Muto, Hannover’s Niclas Fullkrug, Hoffenheim’s Andrej Kramaric and Bas Dost – who is perennially linked with Newcastle – have all been mentioned as targets in recent weeks, while there remains a long-term interest in Feyenoord’s Nicolai Jorgensen.
“It is understood that Benitez has a list of more than 50 strikers he will sift through, however, covering several different price ranges, and he will narrow that down once a final budget is agreed with the Newcastle hierarchy.”
Some interesting names were mentioned here too, with our old friend Bas Dost appearing to be STILL on our radar all these years on.
One big issue is the budget Benitez will be handed. Goal scorers don’t come cheap, but signing a good striker or two could be the difference between mid-table mediocrity and a push towards European qualification.
The question is, will Ashley stump up? You get the feeling we’ll have to break our current transfer record if we want to sign the sort of striker that’s top of Benitez’s 50-man wish-list..