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Opinion

Newcastle United won’t get better than Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dwight Gayle and time to…

1 year ago
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The Newcastle United summer transfer window hasn’t exactly fired into life yet.

The fans just grateful that the World Cup has come along to give us a bit of a distraction.

Things have got so bad that the newspapers are at times going a few days without even bothering to make up a transfer story about NUFC.

Fair to say that most of the focus has been on the identity of the striker who can come in and score the goals that were missing last season in the Premier League.

Loads of candidates already put forward, both currently playing in England and abroad.

To be honest, it is very much what we were hearing a year ago.

Just like now, all the talk was about a new quality centre-forward being Rafa Benitez’ main target by some distance.

Rafa held out as long as possible to get the required backing from Mike Ashley, only to give up in the end and bring in the £5m bargain Joselu from Stoke reserves.

He was more a squad replacement for veteran striker Daryl Murphy who had just left, rather than any kind of replacement who was going to score loads more goals than the likes of Gayle and Mitrovic were (potentially) capable of.

As the days and weeks have gone by this time, I am ever more convinced that Newcastle have little/no chance of getting in a striker who will be better than Gayle and/or Mitrovic.

Watching Mitro on Sunday for Serbia, I thought he looked very decent. Yes he missed one sitter and fluffed another decent chance but we already knew he wasn’t a top class finisher.

He did show against Costa Rica though that he could be a decent target man, strong and able to bring others into the game. Plus he will score a decent amount of goals in the Premier League, given the opportunity and the supply. Easy to forget that he did score nine goals in his first Premier League season, despite only starting 22 PL games.

Yes, we all believe that Rafa Benitez will move him on regardless but I am now thinking that I wouldn’t be too sure about that. Rafa is a pragmatist and could still give Mitro another chance, having seen him hit form at Fulham and show signs of promise already at the World Cup.

The reality is that even if Mike Ashley surprised (amazed) us by allowing a spend of up to £20m on a striker, who would/could Newcastle get?

That Jorgensen looks a right donkey for Denmark, whilst I see today we are linked with Jordan Ayew, a forward who has scored 17 league goals in three years in England, starting 86 games plus sub appearances. Compare that to Mitro who now has 26 league goals in England despite starting only 51 games (plus sub appearances).

Dwight Gayle as well, I thought he worked really hard for the team last season and whilst he should have scored a few more, it was a tough job playing by himself most of the time up front.

For my money, I think it is maybe time to shift the main focus on transfers.

Why not keep Mitro, Gayle and Perez, but look to improve the supply line instead, as the main priority.

Kenedy is surely a better quality winger than the level of what we are going to sign as a new striker, so make him the top priority as a new signing, or somebody else with equal promise.

Likewise, Newcastle need to bring in that new number 10 who can add pace and will go direct towards goal, Perez is a decent player but never a number 10.

Expecting Newcastle to have a 15+ goals striker is probably beyond what we will attract, far better to concentrate on finding better and quicker creative players who will also add goals.

Plus if Rafa can land the left winger and number 10, it may persuade him to play a more expansive style that can create more chances and bring more goals than we saw last season.
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