Who will lead the line for Newcastle United this season?
Alan Pardew’s side have been one of the busiest in the transfer market this summer, adding seven players to his squad, but the spending spree may not be over for Newcastle. Following a 3-1 win over Schalke, Pardew told Chronicle Live that his side are still active in the transfer market. “We’ve always maintained that we will watch the window until the last hours”. True to his word, Newcastle look set to sign Nottingham Forest pair Jamaal Lascelles and Karl Darlow. So who could be next through the door for Newcastle? Will they bring in a marquee striker to lead the line?
Last season, Newcastle relied heavily on Loic Remy and his goals. During a loan spell from QPR, Remy scored 14 goals in 26 games for the Magpies. However, it seemed as though Remy’s future lied elsewhere, due to his Champions League ambitions. A move to Arsenal failed to materialise, while a transfer to Liverpool collapsed when the Frenchman failed a medical. As news of a failed medical filtered through, Newcastle seemed to be back in the hunt for Remy. However, Pardew stated that a deal is unlikely as the player has had “plenty of chances to come to us”. Newcastle would have to pay more than the £8m fee that Liverpool were going to pay, due to their lack of involvement in Europe. If a move did materialise, you would have to question Remy’s commitment to the club that he turned down to join QPR. On the contrary, if he were to get amongst the goals again, would the fans really be too worried about his commitment to the club? My guess is no.
Another target for Newcastle is Lyon forward Alexandre Lacazette. Newcastle reportedly had an enquiry for the 23 year old striker rebuffed by Lyon, who are believed to have offered Lacazette a new deal to stay in France. Lyon have put a price tag of £16m on Lacazette, who scored 15 goals in 36 games in Ligue 1 last season. Liverpool are also reportedly interested in the striker, with the lure of Champions League football giving them an advantage over Newcastle.
A surprise target emerged for Newcastle this weekend, with reports that Sunderland striker Connor Wickham is a target for their north east rivals. Wickham is currently in the last year of his contract on Wearside and Gus Poyet has told the forward that he must either sign a new contract or leave the club. Wickham has spent a lot of his Sunderland career on loan, but returned late last season to help save the club from relegation, scoring 5 goals and winning a Player of the Month Award. Newcastle have already signed Jack Colback from their rivals this summer, therefore it doesn’t rule out a move to St James’ Park for Wickham. A £6m fee has been reported for the 21 year old, making him a much cheaper option for Alan Pardew.
Which of these three strikers should Newcastle look to sign? Alexandre Lacazette appears to be the least likely. A large fee would be required for a player that is untested in the Premier League, and only scored one more goal than Loic Remy last year in ten more games. Loic Remy would be the obvious candidate, having played for the club last season and being a huge success. It may still be a large transfer fee, but surely a worthwhile investment for a man who averages a goal every other game in the Premier League. The stumbling blocks would be wages and his desire to play for Newcastle. Connor Wickham is the curveball. A much cheaper option, but his current allegiance to Sunderland appears to make this deal unlikely. Then again, no one thought Jack Colback would the move from Wearside to Tyneside…