Newcastle’s hunt for a striker to partner Demba Ba has, thus far, proved fruitless. The early days of summer brought promising reports of Gameiro and Gervinho. Both proved to be out of Newcastle’s league.
The transfer activity has stalled at St James’ since Sylvain Marveaux was snatched from under the noses of Liverpool. The reason for this impasse seems to be the reluctance of Mevlut Erding to swap Paris for Tyneside, as well as Newcastle’s reluctance to consider any transfer targets that do not hail directly from across the channel.
If the Newcastle hierarchy have learnt one thing from previous mistakes in the transfer market, it is not to pay over the odds for average players. Another lesson learned is not to sign players that don’t really want to play for the club.
Players such as Mike Williamson, Chiek Tiote and Joey Barton have given the club much better and more valued service than the players who came to Newcastle because, for one reason or another, they could not turn the opportunity down, such as Owen and Luque.
Indeed, Luque even told Freddy Shepherd that he wished to remain at Deportivo. Shepherd replied, ‘name your price,’ to which he requested the club triple his £20,000 a week wages. The rest is an avoidable history.
There are good players available who would jump at the chance to join at a club like Newcastle. For example, Shane Long of Reading would be delighted to try his hand once again in the Premiership. I confess to only having watched Long in the play-offs last season, but his desire to play for Newcastle can outweigh any greater natural talent that Erding may or may not possess.
If Erding is not sufficiently enticed by the prospect of playing for our club then let’s move on to our next target. At least with Ashley in charge any prospective Newcastle player will not be fuelled purely by financial gain, but do not let his refusal to move be an excuse for failing to bring another striker in.
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