One area of play where Newcastle have to be a lot better than we’ve been this season, is from set plays and especially from corners, and we’ve only scored once this season from a corner – and that was when Demba Ba handled the ball into the back of the net at Reading – but yes of course, it was accidental.
Amido Balde – 6’4″ Portuguese striker
If Newcastle get a good header of the ball this summer, that would be a good first step – and that could be Andy Carroll or Amido Balde, who Newcastle have been linked with this year, and the Portuguese striker turns 22 tomorrow.
The Portugal U20 striker stands 6’4″ tall and joined Vitória Guimarães from Sporting Lisbon last summer on a free transfer, and the youngster has scored 9 goals in 29 appearances for his club this season, and is dominant in the air.
Amido was born in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau and began his career with Sporting Lisbon’s farm team in Guinea-Bissau – Sporting Clube de Bissau – and he finally moved to Sporting Lisbon in Portugal in 2008.
Balde went on loan to various Spanish clubs, but then last summer he was released by Sporting Lisbon, and then signed for Vitória Guimarães in the Portuguese Premier League on a two-year deal.
It’s strange he was released last summer, and we wonder if he’s good enough for the Magpies?
He’s played 16 times for the Portuguese U19 side and 10 times for the U20 side, and some top clubs are said to be interested in the striker, with Newcastle said to be tracking him.
It will be good to see Newcastle do some business in Portugal for a change this summer, after most of our players have arrived from France these last couple of years.
Chief Scout Graham Carr and his scouting team have been busy watching various strikers, and Balde fits the profile of young players Newcastle want to bring into the club.
Amido could well be an alternative to Andy Carroll, but of course the Portuguese player is untested in the Premier League and it would be a risk for the Tyneside club.
What do you think?