Behind the scenes goings-on at Newcastle continue in their own haphazard fashion and the search for a striker to keep Papiss Cisse company at shooting practice is no different, with QPR’s Loic Remy, Marseille’s Andre-Pierre Gignac and Vitesse Arnhem’s Wilfried Bony the latest of the continent’s hotshots linked to a St James’ Park move.
The question is, which striker would prove the best fit for Alan Pardew’s men?
Bony has been exciting the interests of many of the Europe’s biggest clubs after two seasons of impressive goal-scoring exploits in the Eredivisie.
Last season’s haul of 31 goals in 24 league starts as Vitesse powered to a fourth-placed finish suggests him to be lethal scorer and his ultra-clinical penalty area finishing and first-class hold-up play would make him an excellent foil to a number 10 style striker, who is equally adept at leading the line single-handed in the manner Newcastle have expected of their strikers of late.
Vitesse are thought to want closer to £15m for the Ivorian, which is likely to divert Newcastle interest down other avenues.
Gignac boasts a slightly more prosaic scoring record in recent seasons, but 2012/13 was his best for some time after an injury-marred 2011/12, yielding 13 goals in 28 Ligue 1 starts.
He caught Arsene Wenger’s eye after a breakout 2008/09 in which 24 league goals were plundered in the colours of Toulouse, but his form has seldom quite reached those heights since. Gignac is a solid option for the Magpies, although paying £12m for the 27-year-old’s signature does not seem like as good value as shelling out an extra £3m on the younger Bony.
Remy could prove to be better value than either of the above thanks to an £8m release clause in the QPR striker’s contract.
Remy proved himself a crack finisher for the West London relegation zombies last term, netting nine times and would require less time to settle into the hurly burly of the Premier League than Bony or ex-OM mucker Gignac.
However, Remy snubbed a move to St James’ in the January window and given the striker is awaiting trial on a rape charge he will have work to do to endear himself to Newcastle’s fanbase.
Of the three strikers discussed, the best value deal may well be for the youngest, most prolific, most expensive of the trio, Wilfried Bony. The Ivorian international has already bagged eight goals in 20 caps for his nation and for a few quid more, the Magpies could bag themselves a potential superstar.
Newcastle were not a million miles from relegation last term and could be a big price for the drop in 2013/14 at 10/1 if failing to get to the root of their malaise in the off-season.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.