In January Newcastle United are expected to make a couple of signings and it looked almost certain that Modibo Maiga would be the first through the door at St James’ Park. Last week things changed, though, as it emerged that Maiga failed a medical and as a result will not be joining Newcastle next month. However, should Newcastle be so quick in dismissing the Mali international, given that their player of the season himself failed a medical not so long ago?
Demba Ba has been a revelation at Newcastle, but the Senegal striker infamously failed a medical when he was all set to join Stoke. Ba then proved he could cut it in the Premier League at West Ham and consequently Alan Pardew jumped at the opportunity to bring him to Newcastle. The rest, as they say, is history and Ba has already got to double figures in the goal scoring charts in this campaign, with his potential injury issues far from Newcastle fans’ thinking.
So, if there is one club that knows that you shouldn’t always make your transfers based on medical results, it’s Newcastle. Unsurprisingly Maiga’s agent is still trying to push through a move, with Karim Aklil saying: “I am disappointed by the turn of events. Modibo is in perfect physical condition and this was confirmed by specialists. I am surprised by what has happened since his medical and the diagnosis was established by doctors authorised by the club.”
Modibo Maiga himself has drawn similarities between the situation he finds himself in and the one that Ba faced not that long ago. The striker has said: “I feel better than anything. There is a player at Newcastle now [Ba], he was told at a Premier League medical that he had a knee problem, he then went to another and started scoring goals before his move to Newcastle.” So does Maiga have a point and should Newcastle learn from Stoke’s mistakes in the past?
There is of course a difference between getting Ba on a free and shelling out £6 million for Maiga. The risk of buying a playing with a chequered injury history has also been shown at Newcastle this season, with Sylvain Marveuax ruled out for the rest of the season. I think you have to praise Newcastle for sticking by the words of their medical experts and after all, there are plenty more fish in the sea!