The Magpies have tried to sign at least two centre-forwards already this summer, but they encountered frustration in those pursuts.
They agreed a £25m deal with Reims for Hugo Ekitike, but then had to contend with ‘excessive demands’ by the player’s agent and duly walked away from the deal. The 20-year-old has now moved to the French champions Paris Saint-Germain.
Their plan B was seemingly Chelsea’s Armando Broja but, according to Hope, the Albanian is now likely to join West Ham.
Hope wrote on Twitter that Newcastle manager Eddie Howe is ‘ready to gamble on’ the fitness of Callum Wilson’, adding that ‘after missing out on top target Hugo Ekitike’, the 44-year-old is willing to retain faith in the ex-Bournemouth marksman as the Magpies’ ‘main striker’.
In the corresponding Daily Mail article, Hope added that the bulk of Newcastle’s remaining money is likely to be spent on a new winger.
Why is this such a risk?
Wilson has shown he can be a reliable goalscorer in his two years at St James’ Park, netting 20 times in his 46 appearances for the club so far. However, that appearance tally is precisely the problem – it works out at only 23 games per season.
Indeed, since he joined Newcastle, the 30-year-old has picked up six separate injuries, the worst of which sidelined him from late December until the start of May as he missed almost half of last season.
Are you happy with Newcastle's summer business so far?
In the absence of Wilson, the Magpies do seem to lack of a bit of firepower. They paid £25m to sign Chris Wood from Burnley in January but, in return, they have received just one non-penalty goal in 17 matches.
Could this be a glaring weakness for Newcastle next season? It’s no wonder that Hope has called it a ‘gamble’ by Howe if the Magpies don’t add a centre-forward over the coming weeks.
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