Demba Ba has had some kind words to say about his former club after getting wind of a proposed takeover.
The Senegalese striker – now playing in Turkey with İstanbul Başakşehir – says we’ll be back competing at the top of English football before long if the Saudis £300m deal goes through.
Ba, who scored 29 goals in 57 appearances in a black-and-white shirt, was speaking to Sky Sports, and looked back in fondness about his time spent at St James’ Park.
Here’s what he’s had to say:
“If that goes through (the takeover), I will be very happy because Newcastle is a club I love a lot,”
“I have spent a very great time there and if this goes through it’s going to be another top team.
“I’m not going to say top club because Newcastle is already a top club, but it’s going to be another top team, fighting for the title, fighting for the Champions League, and it’s going to be only great for the Premier League and for Newcastle also.”
We haven’t reached European competition since Ba’s last season for the club in 2012/13, although he never played in any of the knockout games against Anzhi or Benfica as he had already been sold to Chelsea in the January.
The Senegalese international admits money is not everything in football, and cites Man City’s and PSG’s lack of continental success as proof. Ba added:
“It does not mean they will win because we have seen for example a team like [Manchester] City, who have been challenging for a decade now for the Champions League.
“It’s not an easy competition and just money does not give you any guarantee. If money would give you guarantee then for sure City would have had a couple of (titles), and other clubs also would have had more – Paris (Saint-Germain) would also have one.”
Our first priority in any takeover should be to sign someone as ruthless and as clinical in front of goal as Ba himself. Joelinton has been woeful and Ba has been our best striker since Shearer – I think most fans would agree.
His record would have been even better in a Toon shirt, if Pardew hadn’t shunted him onto the left-wing to accommodate new number nine Papiss Cissé for the rest of the 11/12 season.