With Newcastle United riding high off the back of Ayoze Perez’s goals in victories over Tottenham, Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion, Alan Pardew may be tempted to rest on his laurels come January, happy that one of his key summer signings has come good.
But the reality for the Magpies is that the upcoming transfer window should be spent scouring the Europe for attacking reinforcements, with Perez still too young to be solely relied on for goals.
Papiss Cisse has yet to fully recover from injury while the rest of the strikers in Newcastle’s forward ranks have so far failed to make the grade.
However if the Perez experience has taught the Toon one thing it is to not be afraid of raiding the lower reaches of the continent for young talent.
Perez was poached from Spanish Segunda Division side Tenerife over the summer and a similar approach could pay dividends again, with the German Bundesliga.2 currently boasting a prolific young striker with the potential to play Premier League football.
Joel Pohjanpalo’s situation is not exactly identical to that of Perez, with the 20-year-old Finnish international currently on-loan at Fortuna Dusseldorf from Bayer Leverkusen, but his recent form means he merits consideration.
The former HJK Helsinki youngster has hit the ground running for his new club, scoring seven goals in his first nine games for Fortuna, while the striker has already found the net for the senior national side, scoring against Hungary in a friendly played earlier this year.
A skilful and quick young forward, Pohjanpalo has already drawn comparisons with national team legend Jari Litmanen, and previously turned down a move to Liverpool as a youngster at HJK – though he remains keen on one day playing for the Reds.
“I know I might get an injury or something else and the possibility [of a move to Liverpool] may not necessarily happen again, but I have to move forward and overcome all obstacles when they arise,” he said in quotes published by the Mirror two years ago.
With the striker showing a desire to play in the Premier League in the near future, any bid from Newcastle could be well received by the player and perhaps the club – provided they meet the Bundesliga club’s valuation.
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