Alan Pardew has a massive decision to make regarding his choice of formation in the new year and if offers are made for either Loic Remy or Salomon Kalou, a change back to last season’s successful 433 may be on the cards.
Pardew has persevered with two strikers this season, but it is fair to say that Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse have not gelled in the way Newcastle would have hoped.
They are currently floundering down in 15th, just two points above the relegation places, and can be backed at 10/1 to finish in the bottom three this season.
A return to a lone central striker may help, especially in making them more solid defensively, as Newcastle have conceded at least twice in five of their last six Premier League outings.
Much will hinge on the future of Ba, who would seemingly be happy to leave if the right offer came in and has openly criticised the club this week.
Ba may be Newcastle’s clear top scorer with 11 league goals, but his departure would make it easier to change formation, with neither he or Cisse happy playing in a wider position.
Getting a decent sum for Ba would allow a mini-splurge in the transfer market and Remy would appear to be the chief target.
Newcastle were heavily linked with the Marseille striker in the summer without a deal being concluded and reports suggest that a £14m offer will be forthcoming in January.
Remy has found himself relegated to the bench in recent weeks and with only one Ligue 1 goal all season thus far, a move may be ideal to both parties.
Meanwhile, Newcastle may also want to consider another under-performing striker playing in France following reports from L’Equipe that Lille already want to offload Kalou.
Kalou signed on a free from Chelsea in the summer, but is on particularly high wages and has managed just two goals in 12 Ligue One games.
The problem could be that Kalou is expected to make the Ivory Coast’s African Cup of Nations squad, which makes him less appealing as a transfer target, even if he is a perfect fit to playing on the left side of a forward three with Cisse and Hatem Ben Arfa.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date