News this morning that Mark Viduka will be joining Newcastle United on a free from fellow North East club Middlesbrough.
The Sun is briefly reporting today that Mark could be Sam Allardyceâ€™s first signing for Newcastle (probably this week) as the Aussie has rejected Middlebrough for Newcastleâ€™s new revolution under Big Sam Allardyce.
Mark Viduka – where’s the ball?
Viduka is 31 (32 in October) and apparently has rejected a 40,000 a week two year stay at Middlebrough. Viduka no doubt will be a squad signing for Newcastle and itâ€™s yet another good deal for Allardyce as the price is right â€“ nothing.
The news is also that Big Sam would also like Markâ€™s International team mate Lucas Neil at Newcastle â€“ and this would be a good acquisition for our right back position â€“ although Lucas can play across the back line. Neil is experienced and thatâ€™s what Allardyce is looking for.
Sam seems to be doing what he did at Bolton â€“ bringing in good experienced players on free transfers or small fees.
The players seem willing to join Sam – given his experience with older players – and he seems to be able to revitalize their careers.
It also appears that Sam is determined on two things in the summer â€“ both good.
- Bring in a number of players to revamp and reshape the squad
- Bring them in early so that when training starts in early July he will have most of his players here â€“so they can gel before the start of the season in August.
Some Newcastle fans will argue that Viduka is not good enough for Newcastle – but heâ€™s still only 31 â€“ and played very well for Middlebrough towards the end of last season. Who better to revive his career and get the best out of him than Big Sam.
Mark was born in Melbourne and here are his career statistics:
Year Club Games(Goals) 1993 - 1995 Melbourne Knights 48 (40) 1995 - 1998 Croatia Zagreb 82 (40) 1998 - 2000 Celtic 37 (30) 2000 - 2004 Leeds 130 (59) 2004 - 2007 Middlesbrough 72 (26)
Mark has played 369 club games and scored 195 goals. For Australia he has played 38 times and scored 6 goals.
Viduka has not scored too many goals at Middlesbrough and seems to be injury prone â€“ but both those deficiencies could be fixed by Sam and his backroom staff.
Portsmouth were also interested in the Aussie but Viduka wanted to stay in the North East so Allardyce seems to be bringing in yet another player on a free transfer.