Teetering only two points away from the bottom three and without a win in six games, with their number one striker recently sold and their best defender unsettled, it’s fair to say that Alan Pardew’s Newcastle could do with an injection of positivity.
Thankfully for Magpies fans, with their side 11/2 to be relegated, Pardew believes this boost comes in the shape of French striker Loic Remy, the imposing French international forward who looks set to join from Marseille to the tune of around £10m.
Following Demba Ba’s move to Chelsea, Newcastle have looked shy of options in attack, particularly with Shola Ameobi’s suspension leaving Pardew with only Papiss Cisse to choose from up top.
Since Ba left they’ve scored only once in three games, Cisse’s second-minute strike in their home loss to Everton. But the rot that sees Newcastle fans worrying once again of a repeat of their dismal relegation in 2009 started way before Ba’s departure. The Magpies have won only twice since their 2-1 home win over West Brom in October, a run that comprises a worrying 17 games in all competitions.
Pardew will hope that Remy – who nearly signed for Stoke back in 2010 but failed to agree terms – can add the spark that United need to begin their climb up the table.
Newcastle fans might even see their new signing in black and white by the time they face Reading in their crunch relegation tie on Saturday. Marseille president Vincent Labrune confirmed that a deal had been agreed in principle this weekend, while former Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton – now Remy’s teammate at L’OM – tweeted a message of good luck ahead of the move.
But Newcastle aren’t the only party hoping for an upturn in fortunes with this deal. The player himself has failed to hit the heights of previous seasons, when 12 goals last term followed 15 goals the season before. This time round, however, he’s managed only two starts from his 14 appearances and found the back of the net only once.
Nonetheless with 17 French caps and four international goals his pedigree is not in question, so much so that QPR boss Harry Redknapp flew to France in order to persuade the striker to help the cause at Loftus Road rather than St. James’ Park.
Redknapp candidly admitted later that the striker was put off by his side’s league position – they remain 4/9 second favourites to go down despite a promising 0-0 home draw with Spurs – and much to Pardew’s relief, a move to Tyneside beckons instead.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.