Date: 11th July 2018 at 5:30pm
Written by:

OPINION

Newcastle United must forget about pursuing Aston Villa forward Jonathan Kodjia and go after West Bromwich Albion attacker Jay Rodriguez. 

It was claimed by the Express and Star that the Magpies were keen on swooping for the Villans’ 28-year-old as his club needed to sell him in order to raise funds.

This means that Kodjia could be available at a very affordable price but that still doesn’t mean he is worth pursuing from a Magpies perspective.

The 28-year-old had a very disappointing 2017/18 campaign as he only managed one goal in 18 outings with him spending the majority of his time on the sidelines due to injury.

It would be a bizarre choice for Rafa Benitez to welcome Kodjia to St James Park this summer but if the club really are intent on looking at players in the Championship they need to go after Rodriguez.

The centre-forward who is on course to spend at least a season in England’s second-tier after WBA’s relegation from the Premier League last season would be a worthwhile signing for Benitez to make.

According to the latest report by the Burnley Express the Baggies value their forward somewhere between the £18million and £20million mark which could see him cost the Magpies in the region of £19million if they were to pursue him.

While the local newspaper states that Burnley are trying to sign him this summer, the Magpies are more capable of beating them to the player’s signature.

Rodriguez scored 11 goals for a struggling WBA side last season with seven of those coming in the league and is definitely better than the Magpies’ current attacking options.

The 28-year-old has played 141 times in England’s top-flight and would instantly be able to hit the ground running with the Magpies due to his experience.

While £19million is a lot of money for the Magpies to spend perhaps the club could sweeten the deal by sending Dwight Gayle in the other direction as the Baggies would no doubt be keen to welcome a player such as Gayle.

The current Magpies forward is a proven goalscorer in the Championship and helped fired Benitez’s side out on England’s second-tier in to the Premier League during the 2016/17 season.

Therefore the Magpies should forget all about Kodjia and instead pursue Rodriguez if they’re truly looking to the Championship for a new forward to lead their front line.