From the realistic to the wildly optimistic, six options Alan Pardew may want to consider as potential St James’ Park signings.
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Since the £35 million sale of target man Andy Carroll to Liverpool, Newcastle look distinctly light up front. With The Toon’s tradition of goal getting number nine’s, epitomised by Alan Shearer, the Newcastle fans need a new idol. Leon Best has done well since his move from Coventry, but between him, perennial back-up Peter Lovenkrands, Shola Ameobi and free transfer Shefki Kuqi, will they score enough goals? Probably not; let the summer search for a big name striker commence, but who are realistic targets for The Magpies?
With West Ham in relegation strife and Avram Grant’s squad rotation policy leaving Carlton Cole on the bench at times, the powerful striker could be an option for Alan Pardew. Cole’s form has been up and down over the last two seasons, with solid performances and a good scoring record resulting in international consideration and selection, but a dip in form leading to omission on occasion from West Ham’s starting XI. A move could revitalise Cole’s career, and if Pardew could get the best from him, the Geordie fans could be worshipping a man not dissimilar to previous goal-getter Les Ferdinand.
Nicklas Bendtner as found starting opportunities at Arsenal limited this season, and an Emirates exit in search of first team football is on the cards in the summer. Bendtner has shown glimpses of real ability in his time at Arsenal, but has not been give enough of a run of games in the starting line-up to meet his potential. The Dane has the stature to hold the ball up, the touch to interlink with attacking midfielders and eye for goal to win over the Geordie crowd. The only stumbling block is that Bendtner thinks more of himself than Arsene Wenger and others do, and may feel he is too good for Newcastle.
With Wigan seemingly doomed to demotion, Hugo Rodallega will become available and should be in high demand. The Colombian striker has all the attributes to step into Carroll’s, and given time, Shearer’s boots, and with the right service could score a lot of goals for his next club. Fast, strong and good in the air, Rodallega will be snapped up by someone; Newcastle would do well to capture his signature before their rivals.
The Irishman has fallen out of favour at White Hart Lane, and his career has languished over the last season or so. At 30 Keane still has a couple of seasons at the highest level in him, and one only needs to look at his record for Spurs in his prime to see his quality. The Geordies would respond to Keane’s exceptional work rate, and if he could remain fit has the potential to do very well at Newcstle.
With the arrival of Fernando Torres and the Ivorian not getting any younger, Drogba’s Stamford Bridge days could be numbered, with a summer exit being touted in the media. Drogba’s wages no doubt will be extortionate, and he initially will want to move to a club in the Champions League, but if Newcastle could offer the striker the necessary financial reward and the promise to be a God to 50,000 fans and the main man at a big club, he may be convinced. It is highly unlikely as Drogba won’t be short of suitors, but Newcastle have the finance to at least catch the hitman’s attention.
With Owen fourth choice striker at Manchester United and in the wilderness internationally, the ex-Magpies man could do worse than return to his old employers. First team football in an environment he knows would be guaranteed, and Alex Ferguson may be willing to listen to offers for Owen given his other attacking options. The Toon would have a new/old idol and the move would benefit all parties.
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