The last season heroics of Alan Pardew’s black and white army has failed to be repeated with Newcastle’s performances in this. A series of injuries have blighted their progress this term. They find themselves in a lowly 15th place going into 2013, with a goal difference of a worrying minus eleven. Having scored twenty six league goals in total, it’s easy to see that most of their problems lie in the defensive third, sharing the joint goals conceded record with relegation candidates Southampton and Queens Park Rangers.
Flirting with the relegation places for the past few weeks, you would assume things couldn’t get worse for Newcastle. You’re wrong. One player heavily linked with a move away before this January transfer window officially opens at midnight tonight is Demba Ba, with Chelsea believed to have held talks with his representatives on Sunday. The prolific goal scorer, signed by Pardew in June 2011 as one of the league’s greatest ever free transfers, has made his mark on Tyneside, and this season alone, he’s scored half of Newcastle’s league goals.
Should Demba Ba sign elsewhere in January, Newcastle must, and I’m sure will, sign another forward alongside the misfiring Papiss Cisse and the perennial back-up, Shola Ameobi. For the purpose of realism, lets us assume the £7.5 million buy-out clause currently in his contract was triggered and Pardew was able to reinvest in a new striker. He really could go no wrong with these ten to replace his top-scorer;
10. Aritz Aduriz
Marcelo Bielsa signed the Basque player during the summer from Valancia for a nominal fee of €2.5 million. During his second stint at Athletic Bilbao, he has already notched in ten league goals this season for Les Leones side. Many fans hold reservations for foreign players when a new signing is announced, as it’s always questionable whether a player from overseas can adapt to the pace, physicality and toughness of the Premier League. As an Athletic Bilbao fan, I can assure you that Aduriz would be able to hold his own in English football.
At the age of 31 years, he’s what many would consider coming to the end of this prime. However, if you study his movement, control and shooting ability, he’s definitely got many goal scoring years ahead of him. With Athletic Bilbao’s moral up in air at the moment due to disagreements between directors, management and players, Newcastle could pluck out this Spanish talent with the money received from the transfer fee of Ba and he’ll get them the goals to keep them up this season.
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This article was first posted on December 31, 2012