The Sun is not always accurate in their reporting, so this story should probably be taken with a pinch of salt.
Gary Hooper – can he do the job in the Premier League?
The report is that Newcastle United are lining up a £5M bid for Celtic striker Gary Hooper, and that they will go after the striker in the January transfer window.
There are also reports out there saying that Newcastle will go back in for striker Modibo Maiga of Sochaux, whom they tried to sign in the summer, and the Mali striker would cost around £7M or thereabouts.
And only last Monday we reported that Newcastle were interested in 21 year-old Dutch striker Luuk de Jong, who currently plays for FC Twente.
Gary Hooper will turn 24 in January and he was born in Harlow, but it’s hard to judge players who play up north for Celtic or Rangers in the Scottish Premier League, because those sides are so dominant and score so many goals.
Kris Boyd is a good case in point, and when he became available a year last summer, not one English Premier League club went after him.
He had scored 128 goals in 192 appearances for Rangers, but he has since struggled in England, so records don’t mean too much north of the border, especially when the player plays for the two dominant sides up there.
Boyd couldn’t get the job done at Middlesbrough, and he’s now at Nottingham Forrest, and he scored goals galore for Rangers, but he’s hardly a top striker in England.
Hooper signed for Celtic after two years at Scunthorpe United, and Celtic paid a fee of £2.4M for him, and he certainly hit the goals when he was at at Scunthorpe, scoring 50 goals in 95 appearances for them, and since moving to Celtic he has 27 goals in 48 appearances for the Glasgow giants.
Hooper has expressed a wish to play for England, and we suppose he’ll have a better chance of doing that at Newcastle in the Premier League than at Celtic.
England manager Fabio Capello never comes up to Newcastle, never mind going to Glasgow to watch one single player.
We’re not sure about Gary Hooper, to be honest, and he would be a bit of a risk, but there again if Chief Scout Graham Carr has scouted him, and is recommending to Newcastle that they go after him in January, that would be good enough for us.
What do you think?