We half expect Shola Ameobi to leave Newcastle if he wants to play first team football, because with Newcastle wanting to bring in two additional strikers this summer, and Adam Campbell, the 18 year-old seemingly coming though fast at his home town club, Shola will not see much playing time on Tyneside next season.
Shola Ameobi – 13 years in first team on Tyneside
One hint that Alan Pardew is willing to let him leave this summer, is that the clause is in his contract that didn’t allow him to play for Nigeria in the African Cup of Nations in January, has been removed.
That suggests Pardew doesn’t see him playing at Newcastle much next season, in what is Shola’s last year of his current three year deal.
It seems one big reason Shola wants first team football in the coming season, is so he can make the Nigerian squad for the World Cup in Brazil nest summer.
This is what Shola has said today in the local press:
“I have to get into this incredibly talented team, make sure I give my best, show my experience and make a significant contribution.” “I made my (Nigeria) debut at 31, now here I am and hopefully my experience will enable me to develop at this level.”
“Every player is looking to play at the World Cup.” “I think we have every chance of qualifying – but we must fight and earn the right to be there.” “My full focus is now on helping the Super Eagles to be successful.”
Certainly Nigerian coach Stephen Keshi seems to rate Shola, and he believes his vast experience gives Nigeria something extra when he’s in the side, , so if Shola can play first team football and avoid too many injuries next season (which is always a challenge), then we can see him make the Nigerian squad for next summer.
Shola has just one cap for Nigeria, when he came on as a sub for Nigeria against Venezuela in Miami last November in the 3-1 win, and he set up Nigeria’s third goal in added time.
We remember in the summer of 2005 when then manager Graeme Souness let players like Aaron Hughes leave the club early in the summer, because they weren’t good enough, but then Graeme had great difficulty replacing them.
So before we can let Shola go this summer, Newcastle must ensure we have those two new two strikers through the door.
What do you think?
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