Everton and Swansea Leave Newcastle Trailing Where It Really Matters
It was obviously a relief to see Mike Ashley at last allow some new recruits to arrive at Newcastle United, but surely clubs such as Everton and Swansea make clear just how far United are being left behind where it really matters.
Janmaat, De Jong and Cabella are all credible signings and I think have a decent chance of doing a job in the Premier League.
Defenders and, to an extent, midfielders can often be bought in on decent deals, especially from abroad. Even though you do have to accept there will be a higher failure rate when you introduce players who have never played in the Premier League before.
However, when it comes to strikers, there is little room for bringing in big bargains under the nose of the opposition.
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If any of us were asked to find a striker for a Premier League club, surely the first thing you would do is look to see which players have a record of scoring goals both in the Premier League and abroad. It is not rocket science and simply confirms that buying strikers is different, and almost always more expensive, than any other position.
It was a massive statement of intent when Everton paid £28m for Romelu Lukaku this summer. However, they know the value of a proven striker and that it is essential in the Premeir League, that £28m buys them a forward who has scored 32 goals in 49 Premier League starts, plus a number of sub appearances, for the scousers and West Brom on loan.
Likewise, Swansea invested £12m in Wilfried Bony last summer and were rewarded with 26 goals in all competitions, Bony being a player Newcastle were regularly linked with but Mike Ashley reportedly not willing to pay the price tag.
This summer, Newcastle’s seemingly never ending pursuit of Bafetimbi Gomis at last came to a close, the striker signing for….Swansea!
A proven goalscorer, in his eight full seasons playing in France, Gomis has never failed to score less than double figures in the league in any of those season, plus he has played for France and in the Champions League.
Watching Swansea win at Old Trafford on the opening day, I have to say I was impressed with Bony and Swansea overall, then when Gomis replaced him the French international really looked the part.
It is not a case of writing off Emmanuel Riviere already but when it comes to strikers this summer, Newcastle haven’t bought in bargains, they have simply shopped at a much lower level than Everton, Swansea and others.
Yes Riviere might suddenly become a hit in the Premier League, just as Gabriel Obertan might do the same…
What the striker’s profile tells us though is that he turns 25 this season and has only once scored ten league goals in a year, he hasn’t played for his country at senior level and has never played Champions League football. Plus he has now been sold by three different French clubs for £5m or less.
It is not writing him off but simply facing reality.
Riviere should be third or fourth choice striker at Newcastle and could play a part, expecting him to lead our hopes is a gamble of epic proportions.
As it stands, we have Riviere, 17 year old Adam Arnstrong, Ferreyra who is untried in any top league, then Papiss Cisse who Pardew clearly doesn’t want and who only scored two league goals last season, one of those a penalty.
Pardew himself has said in recent days that he has been lucky with strikers at Newcastle United, I have a feeling that luck could be due to run out very shortly if Mike Ashley doesn’t deliver a proven goalscorer to St.James’ Park.
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