Why Do Newcastle United Need Maceo Rigters?

Newcastle certainly seem to have turned up the heat on their activities in the transfer market after last Monday’s Board Meeting and now it looks like we may be pursuing Maceo Rigters of NAC Breda in Holland.

The Dutch Under-21 International is available for a nominal fee (reported to be as low as $350K) and we’ll look at the situation revealed by NAC Breda Director of football Earnie Stewart yesterday to BBC Sport.


Maceo Rigters

NAC Breda and Dutch Under-21 International Maceo Rigters certainly impressed during Holland’s European Under 21 Championship – and a number of clubs were initially said to be interested in him (including Newcastle) with Celtic initially in pole position.

However, Earnie Stewart told BBC Sport yesterday:

“I can confirm that neither Celtic, nor Rangers, have bid for Maceo Rigters.
“The only two offers have come from the English Premiership.”

The two clubs who have bid are reported to be Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers and we can only assume that Celtic will also bid – but nothing is ever certain at this time of year. Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp is also searching for a striker and could also be interested.

Stewart went on:

“If Maceo and/or his agent want to reveal the clubs, that’s a matter for them, but NAC Breda won’t comment other than to confirm there have been two English bids for him.”

Maceo Rigter’s Agent Frank Schouter then added:

“I think NAC are now in a position of strength with so many bidders.
“We are just waiting for NAC to tell us which clubs we can talk to and that is likely to happen on Monday.”

Stewart did confirm Celtic had formally expressed an interest in the striker last week, but that Rangers had not been in touch. Stewart had stated last Wednesday:

“We’ve had our first approach from Celtic,”
“They sent us a fax to tell us they were interested in Maceo and we’ll see what happens.
“It’s up to Celtic to make the next move and push forward with any negotiations.
At the moment, they are the first and only club to have contacted us about Maceo.”

The race certainly seems to have hotted up now – but we are not too sure why Newcastle would be interested. Sam Allardyce yesterday said he was 100% sure that Owen would be with us come August – and since we are also pursuing Gudjohnsen from Barcelona – we’re not sure if these would be back-up signings in case Martins leaves. While we can sign Gudjohnsen and use him as a midfield player Rigters has already stated his intention to play striker.

In fact Rigters wants to leave NAC Breda because he is frustrated at his role at the club and that he is hardly ever used as an out and out striker. He believes he can score a lot more goals. Rigters did score four times as Holland retained their European Under-21 crown last month and Breda had hoped to negotiate a new contract – but Rigters is determined to leave and it looks like he will.

Last season Rigters appeared 38 times for NAC Breda but scored only 4 goals. Maceo started his career at SC Heerenven and then moved to FC Dordrecht before finally moving to NAC Breda in 2005. He had earlier expressed his frustration at his situation with NAC Breda during the Under-21 championships:

“I have never felt much appreciation at NAC Breda in the last two seasons,”.
“I always feel that I am a center-forward. At NAC Breda I have played just two matches in this position.
“I always had to train and play on the wings. In the front of the attack I have never got a good chance.”
“I was surprised to start in the first XI (Dutch Under-21). It is fantastic to play in this tournament.”

No doubt that Rigters could turn into a good striker and the fee is good (very small) – but how many strikers do Newcastle need?  We would be surprised if this deal goes through for Newcastle – and if it does can only assume Martins will be leaving – and we’re hoping that doesn’t happen. That’s the situation with Maceo Rigters – brought up to date – as we see it.

Comments welcome.

23 comments so far

  • Benoz

    Jul 1, 2007 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #1

    Rigters would be a good replacement for Strola Ameobi in my books, a player showing little sign of improvement.

  • Dave G

    Jul 1, 2007 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #2

    Sounds very much like the greedy agaents are trying to put the pressure on Celtic to make a bid for their player. Unless BSA has had this boy watched I dont see any logic in buying an unproven striker unless BSA is getting rid of one of the ohter 3 strikers…….I dont think Sholas name is 100% on a Newcastle strip for next season but no body seems to be mentioning him as a possible departure……………(You heard it here first!!)

  • graeme dev

    Jul 1, 2007 at 9:34 AM

    Comment #3

    I heard Blyth Spartans are looking for a tall slow, lazy striker who cant run, jump head the ball ,hold it up or lay it off, oh and more importantly cant hit the ball in a straight line towards goal!
    Shola for Blyth me thinks
    (poor Blyth)

  • Beastie

    Jul 1, 2007 at 9:50 AM

    Comment #4


  • Lee Smith

    Jul 1, 2007 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #5

    I think your all being a bit harsh on Shola.He rarely got much of a run in the team and when he did he did fairly well i thought.He weighed in with quite a few important european goals.Give the lad a break i thought we were spost to be loyal fans .As for Martins ..ok .. he can score some amazing goals but the rest of the time he gives the ball away all the time.Not only that , a few events are starting to make him look like trouble to me.There was that issue on the last day of the season and now it looks like he might have lied about that gun attack to get out of playing for his country in future.I think if we get offered silly money for him , let him go .Sam will come up with someone more commited.

  • Beastie

    Jul 1, 2007 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #6

    lee, shola is 25 turnin 26 he we are loyal fans but we can see he isnt good enough to score 10 + goals a season he has been in the 1st team for 6 years and hasnt improved, look at chopra the kid got 6 matches!!! thats not givin sum one a fair shot!!!!

  • Watson

    Jul 1, 2007 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #7

    Lee – we are all loyal fans otherwise we wouldn’t be taking the time to discuss our thoughts on here, but lets call a spade a spade Shola is a sack of shite (trust me, I would love it if he was class as firstly he’s a geordie and secondly he seems like a nice bloke), but 162 games and 28 goals is a shocking return for a Premiership striker. I wouldn’t mind having Rigters as he looks like he knows where the back of the net is and is a low risk signing. Even if he doesn’t play too many games we will be able to sell him on for at least a cool million. Tidy bit of profit. Lovely jubbley.

  • PiraK

    Jul 1, 2007 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #8

    Shola isnt good enough.Lazy,slow with the ball.We should sell him as we can..
    Buy a more determined striker…a young one.

  • Watson

    Jul 1, 2007 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #9

    Scrub that – 292 games overall and 51 goals. About 1 goal every 6 games. Hardly prolific.

  • Beastie

    Jul 1, 2007 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #10

    weyyyyyyy finally people thinkin the same as me and several other blokes i know!!! a feel sorry for chopra people said he wasnt good enough how do they know the lad only played 6 games or summit!

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 1, 2007 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #11

    Not sure Sam wants to get rid of Shola until he’s taken a look at him. Got to say I think Shola can be good player – like Lee states above. Let’s see what he’s like now he’s 100% fit. Harry Redknapp would take him in a shot at Portsmouth – he always thought Shola was good and way under-rated. Shola suffers because he never complains about anything – and just gets on with it.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 1, 2007 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #12

    We never give much of a chance to our young players – Chopra was a good example and O’Brien also – hopefully that will change with Huntington and Edgar – plus others. But it’s going to be hard for these guys to make the first team next year now with all the new good players coming in.

  • Lee Smith

    Jul 1, 2007 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #13

    The thing is.Its one thing scoring loads of goals when your considered number one or two striker and when you often get long runs in the team.but 1 in 6 isnt too bad when your made to feel like your only played when noone else can.and your stop starting all the time.I would bet if sho went to a lesser club and had an arm round him he would be more confident and would prob. do a Chopra

  • Ahmed Bilal

    Jul 1, 2007 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #14

    Sam has a habit of going after unknown players – a legacy from his bolton days 🙂

  • […] We report today on the news that Newcastle (and Blackburn Rovers) have lodged bids for Dutch Under-21 striker Maceo Rigters of NAC Breda. Celtic had initially been thought to be favorites to sign the 23 year-old but may now miss out. We update the story from a few weeks back – but are not sure why we would sign Rigters. We assume this is a back-up position for Owen or Martins leaving. Since Sam has already stated he thinks Owen is staying then if Martins is leaving. However – we expect Sam to press both of them next week on their intentions at Newcastle. That can help Sam stop some wasted tracking of strikers if indeed they are staying. We hope that is what happens […]

  • jeff.

    Jul 1, 2007 at 12:41 PM

    Comment #16

    I reckon when martins was shot at,it must have been shola…..missed every time! If shola is 100% fit and gets a decent run in the team this term(not that he will)he will have to show a bit more ability, accuracy, workrate, skill,commitment, composure on the ball……Bugger it lets get!lets get Rigters.

  • […] We report today on the news that Newcastle (and Blackburn Rovers) have lodged bids for Dutch Under-21 striker Maceo Rigters of NAC Breda. Celtic had initially been thought to be favorites to sign the 23 year-old but may now miss out. We update the story from a few weeks back – but are not sure why we would sign Rigters. We assume this is a back-up position for Owen or Martins leaving. Since Sam has already stated he thinks Owen is staying then if Martins is leaving. However – we expect Sam to press both of them next week on their intentions at Newcastle. That can help Sam stop some wasted tracking of strikers if indeed they are staying. We hope that is what happens […]

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 1, 2007 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #18

    jeff – get out of here – another Shola miss? 😀

  • joe

    Jul 1, 2007 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #19

    has it occurred to people that at around 250k, Rigters is a steal. For once, we might buy a player young for little money and then have a cracking player that could be worth a few million in the future? I reckon he could be loaned out for a season ala Chelsea and then come back stronger than ever.

  • Shearer 4 pm

    Jul 1, 2007 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #20

    shola is a plank but he did score for fun at the start of the season so he might have finally got better, we don’t have a lot of strikers i don’t know what the article is talking about the only reson is that we haven’t had many for the past three years now we have owen, martins, viduka, and shola, possibly carrol that is 4/5 idealy we need 6 for compition and injurys esspecially after last year with owen and martins was injured for a bit as well so the more the merrier
    ideal strike forc or next year would be
    owen (pace/finishing)
    martins (pace/finishing)
    viduku (targetman/ holder up)
    shola (targetman /holder up)
    gudjohnson (versitality)
    rigters (for the future)
    luque? (winger foward/versitaliy) good if back to the way he played in spain
    alot of verity and i i say so a hel of a strike force

  • AndyT

    Jul 2, 2007 at 8:08 AM

    Comment #21

    In fairness to Shola, he played most of last season drugged up to the eyeballs to get through the pain in his hip because we were so drastically short of strikers. I still don’t know what Roeder had against Luque and Chopra, but efectively Roeder’s actions during his full season were – see Shearer retire (not much he could do about that). Watch Owen get a season long injury (not much he could do about that) but having our 2 best strikers factored out he then – didn’t take up the option on Kluivert, Shipped out Bellamy permanently, sold Chopra, benched Luque and delayed the op on Ameobi. I’m not denying that a) Kluivert was a prima donna b) Choppers doesn’t have the pace to be a first choice premiership striker c) Luque hasn’t shown anything like his hyped potential on the pitch d) Bellamy has probably upset too many people at the club to come back and d) Ameobi was a decent foil for Shearer and could have worked well along side another striker. Any one, or possibly two of those actions in isolation would be fully justified, but the issue I always had with Roeder was that he did all of them, and didn’t act until he January window that might have been forced to by the board – but in that case he was a wet muppet and deserved the boot anyway. So essentially until Martins came in we stuck an unfit isolated Ameobi up front and whacked balls in his general direction – of course he looked crap.
    Now after defending him like that – If we retain Owen and Martins, buy Rigters and Gudjonson – That puts Shola 6th in my view when it comes to striking ability and 3rd choice behind Viduka and Gudjonson when it comes to partnering one of the other three – so I would suspect he should be allowed to go to a championship side and become the next Chopra (or Huckerby for that matter)

  • Beastie

    Jul 2, 2007 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #22

    look the lad is a championship player at the least a lower team in the premiership playerhe isnt good enough full stop!!!

  • noel hopper

    Jul 3, 2007 at 1:03 AM

    Comment #23

    righurts…gone to blackburn….owen staying no real signs of martins leaving… under 21 stikers look top class and viduka….gudjohnson bonus why would we need him


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