Since Andy Carroll left the club a young striker whose more than two years youngster than Andy, 19 year-old Londoner Nile Ranger – has a big chance to show the boss Alan Pardew, what he can do.
Nile Ranger – time keeping improved – still need improvement
Alan Pardew has been different from Chris Hughton in that he has already shipped some youngsters off to other clubs, so they can get some experience playing in the first team.
And he would probably have done that with Nile too, if Shola Ameobi hadn’t been unfit, and no real replacement brought in for Andy Carroll.
At the moment it seems Nile is third choice striker behind Leon Best and Peter Lovenkrands while Shola Ameobi is injured, and Finnish International Shefki Kuqi settles in on Tyneside.
Pardew talked about the youngster today:
“I’d have considered it this season if Shola was fit and we had Andy Carroll, or a replacement for him, in the building.”
“Nile’s very important for us between now and the end of the season and in this period we’ll know what we’re going to do with him next season.”
“He could be forcing to get in and around the team for us, and he has the potential to do that.”
“He gets under center-halves. I can think of players, Michael Owen in his own way once, he gets past you, he gets under you, there’s no getting back to him, he’s got that pace and he’s good at that.
“He needs to concentrate and understand what the job’s about and what the profession’s about at times.”
“He’s very much aware that his time-keeping has improved and his professionalism on the training ground has improved, but it could still be better.”
If Newcastle bring in two strikers in the summer as they are expected to do (Sturridge and Elmander?), and keep Lovenkrands and Best at the club, then we think Nile will be sent out on loan to some Championship club, at least for the first part of the season.
And then he’ll have every chance to get a string of starts and show what he can do, and how many goals he can bang in.
Of course if he becomes star player at Newcastle in the remaining 11 games of the season, Alan may have second thoughts about that, but the lad is still just 19, and we all know he’s still learning the game.