Ask any Newcastle fan where they think the team should be strengthened and they will probably say up front, with a striker, maybe even two strikers.
I agree with that assessment to be honest.
The capture of Yohan Cabaye is of course welcome, but our need for a central midfielder isn’t as great as our need for someone who can find the back of the net on a fairly frequent basis. As Cabaye himself said, he likes to pass the ball and create chances, and with Hatem Ben Arfa it certainly looks like we’ll have a more creative edge next season. It doesn’t matter though if there is nobody at the end of a move who can put the ball in the back of the net.
Now for me the type of striker that we end up with is entirely dependent on the system that Alan Pardew wants to play. With Ben Arfa seemingly destined for role in the hole there is a case for acquiring a bigger, stronger, hold up player, but there is also a case for buying a workable pair of strikers. Ben Arfa can still play in the hole behind two strikers you know.
Where do we look though? Well not at Kevin Gameiro certainly as it appears he has no interest in joining us and Gervinho is rumoured to be off to Arsenal, although to be fair he is not really a striker anyway. Where does it leave us though?
I see Demba Ba is supposedly close to joining us according to The Mirror. Personally I have reservations about him because of his injury concerns (failing two medicals on two occasions at two clubs is worrying) but if he can stay fit I think he would be an excellent acquisition.
After that though there isn’t really a lot. I mean lets face it, we aren’t going to be in for any top, top strikers as they will be out of our price range, so what bracket are we looking in when it comes to recruiting a striker? An accepted bid of £10 million for Gameiro would seem to suggest that we’ll go that far for the right striker, but I just can’t think of anyone that we could get. Can you?
Mevlut Erdinc and Yousef Al-Arabi are two names that keep bouncing around, but they are hardly proven are they?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m chuffed with the capture of Cabaye, honestly I am. I think a central midfield of him and Cheik Tiote could be brilliant as they both like to spray the ball around and it would help to give us some much needed creativity in the middle of the park. I just think it’s addressing a problem that doesn’t really exist.
Up front, where we do have a problem, should be next on the list!
A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.