Although most post-match talk has centred on Newcastle’s defensive frailties following their woeful 4-0 defeat at Leicester, little has been said about how the Foxes comprehensively contained NUFC’s talisman centre forward Callum Wilson.
For opposing managers, it isn’t difficult to identify that very few Newcastle forwards pose a dangerous goal threat – with the sole exception of Wilson. Other forwards such as Alan Saint-Maximin, Joelinton and Almiron have their own assets, but assists and goals are certainly not their strong points.
Brendan Rodgers and his solid defence appeared acutely aware of this by effectively marking Wilson out of the game, preventing his usual clever runs behind defenders and limiting his wily positioning in and around the six yard box; the result being his best scoring chance a deflected shot off Ndidi.
For Newcastle, the search for another natural goal scorer to take the pressure off Wilson would seem vital – and one name that continues to be closely linked with the club is Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard, whose contract is up in the Summer, has not started a league game this season and could well be available either on loan or for a cut price fee in January.
Lingard, who can play either as an attacking midfielder or winger enjoyed a prolific loan spell with West Ham last season, scoring nine goals in 16 appearances and according to the Guardian is definitely on high on Eddie Howe’s radar.
As a team that relies too heavily on one player for goals, Lingard would be a much needed foil for Wilson (distracting defenders) and also capable of bagging important goals himself.
The only stumbling block may be West Ham’s own pursuit of the versatile 29 year old; however, the lure of a tasty signing on fee and vast increase in wages could tip the scales Newcastle’s way.
With his proven Premier League pedigree, Lingard could become an important asset in Newcastle’s fight for top flight survival.