Premier League

A Small Investment Of £2m Would Aid Pardew’s Desire For Depth

Reports in England suggest that Newcastle United are following the progress of Norway international midfielder Jo Inge Berget ahead of a transfer swoop when the window re-opens in January.

The 22-year-old is on Alan Pardew’s radar as he looks to add depth to his talented but thin squad, and the Molde man would seem to be the perfect fit to provide back-up to Hatem Ben Arfa in the position just behind the forwards.

Frenchman Ben Arfa has been in irresistible form since his return from injury last season, but after a number of lengthy lay-offs in his career, Pardew would be foolish not to bring in a quality replacement in case something else befalls the former Marseille attacker.

Berge, who trained with Udinese as a youth player, showed good form for the new Norwegian champions last season, including scoring in their title-deciding match against Tromso. He has been known to fill-in as a striker, and would be a good addition to a promising squad that has to deal with the added pressures of the Europa League this season.

Pardew, who last week signed a new eight-year contract, will be hoping that Mike Ashley will back him with transfer funds in the New Year, although Molde and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would likely be willing to take £2million for their young play-maker.

Whether Pardew makes his move in the winter remains to be seen, but if they are to replicate their performance from last season they need to add depth to a squad which is currently having to reply on academy products to fill some holes that are forming due to injuries and suspensions.

Defence is the main area that needs improvement, but depth all over the pitch is a must if a genuine European challenge is to go the distance, and Berge may well be the first man to be brought to St James’ Park as the Magpies look for a Champions League spot.

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