With the collapse of the Modibo Maiga signing last week, news today in the Newcastle Journal that the club may not sign a striker in January after all.
Modibo Maiga – deal fell through because of concerns about his knee
The number one priority in January has shifted to bringing in a top class center-back.
Newcastle were embarrassed at Norwich ten days ago, by not being able to field any recognized center-backs in that game, and Danny Simpson and James Perch were drafted in to do the job.
But it was asking a lot of two players who are not center backs to play against an attack who are good in the air, and Newcastle lost 4-2 in a game they would have been expected to at least draw, with their best side playing.
Demba Ba has done very well in the striker role, with an impressive 11 goals in 17 appearances for the side, and Newcastle also have Shola Ameobi, Leon Best, Peter Lovenkrands and Ben Arfa who can play in the striker role.
It is looking like Lovenkrands will leave the club when his contract runs out in the summer, but he will not be allowed to leave before that.
And Alan Pardew is also trying to delay the departure to the African Cup of Nations, of Demba Ba and Cheick Tiote until January 15th, for a tournament that starts one week later.
In general the African National teams want their players in camp at the beginning of January, but Man City have already been successful in getting the departure of the Toure brothers – YaYa and Colo – delayed until mid-January when they will join up with the Ivory Coast squad.
It’s hardly convenient that the African Cup of Nations takes place every two years, right in the middle of the European football season, but that’s because they have to play the tournament when the temperatures are at their lowest in early January.
But why is it every two years and not four years like the European tournament?
Newcastle’s transfer targets for striker drawn up last summer had included Maiga, Pape Cisse, Moussa Sow and Luuk de Jong, but it seems striker is not now a priority for January, and it’s also more difficult to sign players in January.
And it’s usual that whoever comes in during the January transfer window, has a hard time of things to adjust to playing in the new team, and it’s best, whenever possible, to bring the new players in during the early summer.
However, this news may upset some Newcastle fans, and it certainly doesn’t seem like there will be many signings in January, and possibly only one – a center-back.
So bang goes our theory that Mike Ashley might want to strengthen the squad with say three players, to help Alan Pardew and the lads finish in the top seven this season, and likely get into Europe for next season. There’s big bucks there if Newcastle can qualify for Europe.
Newcastle were linked yesterday with 23 year-old Brazilian center-back Douglas, who stands 6’4″ tall and plays for FC Twente, and he would make an excellent signing, although many clubs are in for him.
His contract runs out next June, and he would be able to be signed at a reasonable price, and of course he will become a free agent in the summer.
Douglas is said to be an old fashioned center-back who is very good in the tackle, and outstanding in the air.
Sounds good to us. 😀
The Journal is reporting that it’s not an absolute certainty that no striker signing will be made in January, but remember this striker was supposed to be the Andy Carroll replacement, but it’s certainly not the priority position now.