Modibo Maiga is set to undergo a medical today ahead of a proposed January move to Newcastle.
The link between Maiga and Newcastle has been ongoing since the summer, but if the rumour that he is set to undergo a medical in London today is true it will signal our first breakthrough of the January transfer market.
Of course Maiga has to pass the medical, but given the fact that he has been used sparingly by Sochaux and doesn’t have a history of injury problems then I can’t see anything going wrong with what is a routine part of a transfer. Mind you, famous last words and all that…
The deal is expected to be for a fee in the region of £6-7m and should be announced at the start of the transfer would should everything go well today. Personally it seems strange that they are doing a medical now but then again who really knows what goes on behind the scenes? However it has kind of got to the point now where I’d be surprised if we didn’t conclude a deal for Maiga.
So, what can we expect of Modibo Maiga? Well first of all I suggest you read Dan4Toon’s excellent evaluation of him here. Secondly we can expect him to be away at the African Cup of Nations with Mali, but when he returns we can expect something else – pace!
Like many of you, I’ve actually been keeping an eye on him ever since we’ve been linked. It’s funny how a bit of transfer interest, or a lot of transfer interest in this instance, can make you watch a player. Whilst I’m still not completely sold on him I will concede that he has pace and strength plus an ability to play in a number of positions, namely up front and on the wing.
To me that is good news. As nufc_stats is going to highlight later, our wing play isn’t the best and having a player who can operate out wide AND up front will go some way to rectifying that in my mind. How? Simple really… The best crosser of the ball I’ve seen was Alan Shearer, in fact a lot of strikers have a decent cross on them. Why? Because they know where they would like that ball themselves so put it into that danger area!
Of course the bonus of getting this deal over the line at the earliest opportunity is the fact that it allows the club more time to get other players in, although if we’re going by the official club line we can only expect one other player in who is expected to be a defender. With interest in Erik Pieters still bubbling away perhaps we’ll revisit a deal for the Dutch international?
As ever, time will tell…