Cisse is a striker. Yoan Gouffran is half a striker. Shola Ameobi is a striker. Sammy Ameobi is a striker too. Is this enough?
Who do we have?
Papiss Demba Cisse is an excellent striker – last season he scored 13 goals in all competitions and he should have had quite a few more that were wrongly denied by the referee and his officials. I personally think that we need a good striker to play up front with Cisse – our problem last season was that we relied too much upon Cisse alone to get the goals after Demba Ba left. Ba still managed to get as many goals as Cisse in half the time.
The problem with Shola is that, despite him being a beast, he really does not score as much as he should do, and he doesn’t really create goals. Alan Pardew did not play Cisse and Shola together last season last season and I think that it was the right decision because in my opinion they don’t really fit each other when it comes to playing styles. Shola Ameobi is (as aforementioned) a striker, and in his 35 games in 2012/13 season he scored only 4 goals. Also, Ameobi is getting on a bit and is not as good as he has been, although he has made more appearances that any other player currently at the club (368 games and 76 goals since 2000 – although he was loaned to Stoke during the 07/08 season).
Yoan Gouffran is an excellent player but he is more of a winger than a striker with his pace. We picked him up in this year’s January transfer window for £1.2 million from Bordeaux although we were going to wait until he was out of contract this summer (bad results persuaded Mike Ashley to buy him early). In his half season on the Tyne he scored 3 goals in 15 matches, which is one less than Shola scored in more than double the matches, and Yoan Gouffran wasn’t just playing as a striker. I don’t think that Yoan Gouffran is the person who will work best with Cisse, although he did work quite well with him in the games they played together (in most of them Gouffran played behind Cisse).
Sammy Ameobi is…a bit….hmmm…young. His haircut is insane, but his playing is not the best and I don’t think he is ready to play regularly in big games. Maybe in a few years time he will be, but right now I don’t think he can form a working partnership (a.k.a score lots of goals) with Cisse. To be honest, I don’t think that we have enough strikers to do well next season. I think that we need someone who will work well with Cisse and score lots of goals, but (fairly obviously) is not that expensive.
Who could we get?
One obvious option is Liverpool striker Andy Carroll, who as everyone should know, we sold in the 2010/11 January transfer window for £35 million – which made him the most expensive British player ever. He spent last season on loan at West Ham, and a £15 million deal was made between those two clubs a few weeks ago, but if he decides that he does not want to go to West Ham, he would be a good buy, albeit a bit expensive. In my opinion, I think that Andy Carroll would fit well with Cisse, and work with the rest of the team as well.
Wilfried Bony is a Newcastle transfer target, and he would be a very good value buy from Vitesse at £12 million. The problem with Bony is that many clubs are rumoured to be trying to sign him, including Liverpool, West Ham and Arsenal. Currently, it is believed that West Ham are furthest in the race, but they might pull out if they do sign Carroll. Bony scores lots of goals. Last season in the Eredivise (Dutch first league) he scored a whooping 31 goals in 30 matches as Vitesse came 4th, qualifying for the Europa League. I don’t know how well the Ivorian striker would do with Cisse, but he scores a lot of goals.
Another reported target for Newcastle this summer, is Aston Villa striker Darren Bent. Aston Villa bought him from Sunderland halfway through the 2010/11 season for a price rumoured to be between £18 million and £24 million. What Aston Villa want for him now is just £6 million – a sizable loss. If he did come to Newcastle, he would have to take a fairly sizable wage cut – he apparently gets £75k a week which Newcastle would definitely not pay. However, he is a great player and I think that he would be a worthwhile buy as well as partnering Cisse well.
The striker who is currently looking most likely to join the Magpies at the moment is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who would probably part with Saint-Etienne for about £10 million. The Gabonese national was, last season, voted best African player in Ligue 1, as he scored 19 goals in 37 games for Saint-Etienne. A striker of his quality would be a brilliant asset to Newcastle and our strike-force.
We need to buy at least one striker this summer. Whether it be Carroll, Bony, Bent or Aubameyang, we need a striker who can score goals, and a striker who can help bring out the very best from Papiss Demba Cisse.
What do you think? Comment your opinions.