If Newcastle pay in the region of the much quoted £24m for part-time West Brom forward Saido Berahino, in the process smashing the club’s transfer record, it will be the most ridiculous piece of business since Jean-Alain Boumsong arrived from Rangers.
This is a player who has played barely three seasons worth of football, had one decent year, has a history of falling out with managers and is currently serving a self-imposed exile from league football (sometimes) because West Brom blocked his move to Spurs.
Although this makes him sound like exactly the sort of character we are used to seeing at Newcastle it is most definitely the kind of character we should now be staying away from.
The lad has ability, absolutely no denying that, but the level of his ego to declare that he would not play for his paying employer after they refused Tottenham’s valuation is ridiculous, almost Raheem Sterling-esque!
I agree that we need Premier League experience, I also see the logic in British players perhaps being more ‘up for the battle’ when you’re in a relegation position, but that doesn’t mean that we should actively be looking at players whose character is questionable at best.
I believe that it makes more sense to look to players who have either a proven record of doing the job, or have demonstrated enough potential ability in English football to suggest that they can achieve success for Newcastle United.
Similar questions can be posed over the alleged pursuit of often injured/little used Andros Townsend, a man who hasn’t completed a full Premier League 90 minutes in 22 months.
Quite how Spuds chairman Denial (not a misspelling) Levy arrives at a valuation of £14m for this out of favour perma-crock is absolutely beyond me, just because he has England caps maybe? I would much rather see the club go after their other suggested target of Matt Phillips from QPR, who managed to rack up 9 assists in 15 games during his last Premier League campaign.
Phillips is a proper winger who delivers quality crosses which Mitro could thrive on, rather than a ‘cut in and shoot’ merchant like Townsend. He has made more first team appearances and the goal records of both players are not a million miles apart, the only difference to justify the reported £10m price difference seems to be that one has England caps whilst the other has Scotland caps. Are England caps really worth that much these days in the transfer market?
Back to the subject of a striker.
If we want someone who just knows how to put the ball in the net, then Jordan Rhodes has been cooling his heels at Blackburn for far too long for a guy who can finish like he can.
Southampton have just snapped up Charlie Austin, whether that is a good deal or not time will tell, but doesn’t that leave Jay Rodriguez surplus to requirements as he nears fitness? Another player with Premier League experience, international caps and something very different to what we already have, who would be unlikely to cost the earth.
I am sure that others will name even more fitting target and personally I don’t think that Norwich have done bad business in signing Naismith. We need to forget foreign superstars and marquee signings, that is not what is required when you are where we are.
Lke Liam Neeson in ‘Taken’, we need players with a specific skill set, a skill set which gets the club out of the mire and back climbing the league.
Only then, and with hopefully better judgement than signing players with the attitude of Berahino, should we look to smash transfer records.
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