If you remember, in the summer I touted the possibility of a swap deal between Newcastle United and Chelsea, with the Magpies getting Daniel Sturridge and a big chunk of cash in return for having to part with Cheik Tiote. Fast forward a few months and Sturridge is a pretty important part of Chelsea’s set up, but with Michael Essien still on the treatment table, their interest in Tiote hasn’t waned. So, now I’d like to propose a different swap deal, an Ivorian for an Ivorian, Cheik Tiote for Salomon Kalou.
Cue howls of disbelief and Newcastle fans saying “do you mean Salomon Kalou? That Chelsea flop who can’t find the back of the net to save his life? The man who spends more time warming the bench than he does on the pitch?” Yep, he’s the man I’m talking about, but before you write off the 26-year-old, let me tell you why I think it could be a good move and then you can make up your own minds about whether he could resurrect his career at Newcastle.
Rewind five years and Kalou was one of the hottest prospects in the Dutch league, resulting in Chelsea splashing out just shy of £10 million on him. However, it’s never really quite worked for Salomon at Stamford Bridge. He’s shown flashes of brilliance yes, but those have been few and far between and for an attacking player, his goal record of 1 in 4 isn’t anything to write home about. He has stagnated at Chelsea and wants more first team football, something he could get at Newcastle.
He fits the bill in terms of Newcastle’s transfer policy, being a player who has gone off the boil a bit, but is still young enough to recapture previous form and play at the top for plenty more years. Given Chelsea’s wealth of attacking talent, the Magpies may be able to get him on the cheap, something that can’t be said of Tiote. Due to Newcastle’s position in the table and Tiote’s long-term contract, the Magpies are right where they want to be in any future negotiations and will be able to demand big bucks.
In an ideal world Newcastle would keep hold of Cheik Tiote, but we all know that money talks for Mike Ashley and if he was presented with an offer that was too good to turn down then he’d probably take it. A deal of around £15m and Kalou would probably represent that and with Chelsea in a little bit of disarray, then they’ll be desperate to get their man. That’s a position that Newcastle can take advantage of and if Tiote was to leave at least then there’d be a positive to it as well.
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