The sale of Andy Carroll to Liverpool during the final hours of the January transfer window brought Newcastle United an embarrassment of riches beyond their wildest dreams.
A £35 million pound war chest at Alan Pardew’s disposal had the Geordie fans salivating at the prospect of high-class signings and a top quality goal scorer to replace the local hero turned villain. The free transfer signing of Demba Ba has gone some way to filling the void left by Carroll with the Senegalese striker being joined by the French midfield trio of Yohan Cabaye, Sylvain Marveaux and Mehdi Abeid. Pardew has had no problem strengthening the middle of the park but he has struggled to add a forward to his already weak frontline.
The signing of Ba on a free represented great business, but with the other signings also proving to be relatively cheap you’d think that a large portion of the Carroll money would still be available to bring in a top class striker. It’s common knowledge that the money was to cover not just transfer fees but also wages and signing on fees. With money at his disposal Pardew continued to try and raid Frances Ligue 1 for the hottest and most affordable talent. However things haven’t quite gone to plan for the Magpies boss. Lorient’s Kevin Gameiro dismissed any interest in him, Gervinho joined Arsenal and now PSG’s Melvut Erdinc is distancing himself from a move to the North East.
Turkish international Erdinc is top of Pardew’s list after failing to sign his previous targets although he has insisted he won’t beg him to join Newcastle. With the striker already indicating he wants to stay in France as opposed to making the move across the channel, should the club give up and move onto other targets? The blatant answer to this question yes! To be honest I don’t know why Erdinc is even being considered a viable transfer target by the club. First and foremost he isn’t even that good! His goal scoring record for PSG is decent at best but that’s in the French league. You might gripe at that but lets put it into perspective shall we? This is a league where Claudio Cacapa captained Lyon to five championships and every Newcastle fan should remember how awful he was!
Secondly if the player doesn’t want come and play for Newcastle United Football Club then where is the logic in pursuing his signature? For the first time in a long while the club actually has a group of players who want to play and wear the black and white stripes with pride. After all it is an absolute privilege to play for a club, which has seen some of English football’s greatest strikers bang in goal after goal on the St James’ Park turf. Frankly if we do manage to sign Erdinc we’d only be a stepping-stone for the 24 year old. It seems that Pardew’s patience is wearing thin and he had a slight dig at the player during an interview with The Journal newspaper
He said: “It’s quite easy for me: if the boy wants to stay at his club and be third choice and doesn’t want to come to Newcastle, then I don’t want him because Newcastle, for me, are a bigger club. I’m not being disrespectful and I know that Paris St Germain are in the Champions League, but with our stadium, our support and the squad we have got, we are the bigger club. But we won’t bring him to the club if he doesn’t want to be here. We are certainly not going to force his hand.”
It’s a no brainer that the club should look elsewhere and I don’t see the problem with looking for a British forward. Daniel Sturridge or Shane Long could provide a hunger and desire to succeed and make something of their careers at one of the best clubs in the league.
Sturridge’s career is stagnating at Chelsea and everyone saw his undoubted talent during his goal laden loan spell at Bolton. Long on the other hand should be keen to prove himself at the top level after a prolific season at Championship level with Reading. Both are young and fit well into the new philosophy laid out by Mike Ashley. Even if they did cost a few pounds more than they should they’d still prove sound investments and could go on to proudly wear the famous number nine that is currently hanging around without an owner.
Written by Jak Penny
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