As we build up the the January transfer window, the Chronicle have revealed a list of FIVE strikers that look set to be on Rafa Benitez’s radar next month, including Besiktas’ Cenk Tosun, Leicester’s Islam Slimani, Liverpool’s Danny Ings, West Ham’s Andy Carroll and Porto’s Vincent Aboubakar.
Here is the list of forwards and the Chronicle’s thoughts on each potential deal, followed by our verdict – assessing the said striker and the likelihood of them signing at St James’ Park this winter:
The Liverpool striker has had a torrid time with injuries but is slowly working his way back to full fitness and scored four in an U23 game earlier this week. Jurgen Klopp has plenty of options up front and while he appears keen not to lose Ings permanently, a loan spell for the former Burnley man looks likely this January.
“Newcastle have watched him on several occasions and as he continues to bang in the goals for both Besiktas and Turkey his stock will continue to rise.”
“He’s got nine goals so far this season which adds to his tally of 24 goals from last year. Those in charge at Besiktas are holding out for a big price before cashing in on the 26-year-old and at a reported asking price of more than £20 million, it would certainly be a gamble by Benitez.”
Our verdict: He’s been mightily impressive on the Champions League stage and his stock continues to rise – as does his price tag by all accounts. There’ll be no shortage of interest, so given the likely competition for his signature, I really can’t see this one happening unless a takeover is agreed and decent money is handed to Rafa Benitez as a result. He looks the real deal, but that’d come with a price – and one Ashley would almost certainly be unwilling to pay.
‘Was one of Leicester City’s big money signings after winning the Premier League and it hasn’t quite worked for the Algerian – but that’s not to say he can’t cut it in the top flight.’
‘He hit seven goals in 28 appearances despite spending most of his time third or fourth choice and this season he’s also found opportunities limited but has scored three goals in two league cup outings. He was linked to United in the summer but the Magpies were reportedly told that Leicester wanted to reclaim somewhere near to the £28 million they paid for him back in August 2016.’
Our verdict: Out of favour at Leicester but a player who’ll be hungry to get a proper chance in English football. He’s a handful and a monster in the air, so Benitez might be keen to get the best out of a man who bagged 31 goals for Sporting Lisbon prior to his move to the Premier League. I can see this one happening if a loan deal was agreed, but I don’t think we’d pay the required fee for a man approaching his 30’s.
“Having criticised West Ham fans for leaving home games early, his relationship with the Hammers’ fans could be about to take a turn for the worse. Constantly linked with a return back to Newcastle, his style of play would fit perfectly with Benitez’s one up-front tactic. He’s on big wages but if he can keep fit, he would be some asset.”
Our verdict: When fit I’d take him back in a heartbeat, but that is the biggest question with Carroll. I’d be inclined to take a chance on him in the position we’re in, but he’d be no use from the treatment room. Fanciful at best.
“Linked to Newcastle in the summer after scoring 12 goals in 27 games while on loan at Besiktas. He’s gone on to score 21 in 23 games and has impressed as Porto hold top spot in the league. At only 25, Aboubakar still has his the best years ahead of him.”
Our verdict: He’s got pace and power to be a handful in the Premier League and can’t stop scoring in Portugal, but I imagine his price tag will have rocketed following his incredible form this seaso. He’d be worth a look, but I suspect we’ll regret missing out on him for the £9-10m fee that was suggested over the summer. I don’t see them selling him.
Let us know your thoughts folks. Anyone you like in-particular here?