The Newcastle United supporters in the Transfer Tavern are hoping that Rafa Benitez can significantly bolster the strength of his options at centre-forward this summer.
Rafa Benitez has carried his side safely clear of the relegation zone in recent weeks following a string of fine performances and results to match in the Premier League. The Magpies were tipped to be in the midst of a relegation battle at this stage in the season, but they have comfortably avoided that scenario by embarking on a fantastic run of form since the end of January.
Despite Newcastle’s improvement in recent months, they are still missing the presence of a reliable striker who has the ability to score somewhere in the region of 15 goals in a single Premier league campaign, and unless they rectify that problem this summer they will struggle to mount a challenge for the Europa League next season.
However, according to The Sun, Newcastle are planning on making a bid for Bournemouth’s Joshua King this summer in a bid to improve their potency in the final-third. The Norwegian international has been in decent form for the Cherries so far this season with 7 goals and 3 assists to show for his efforts from 31 appearances in all-competitions.
Although King would be a valuable addition to Newcastle’s squad, there is reason to suggest that Benitez should turn his attention towards a player who is more naturally suited to a centre-forward role. King can operate at the spearhead of the attack, but he is most effective when he operates in a number ten role behind the striker.
Considering Dwight Gayle has only managed to net on 5 occasions this season, it’s clear that Newcastle need to sign a centre-forward with a clinical edge, and one player who certainly fits the bill is Southampton’s Charlie Austin (valued at £10.8 million by Transfermarkt).
Austin has managed to score 7 goals from 20 league appearances so far this season, despite starting on just 6 occasions due to a combination of injury problems and competition for first-team places. His relative success is indicative of his poachers instinct and, considering the Saints look set to drop into the Championship this season, he should be available at a cut-price during the summer window.
Southampton will undoubtedly be reluctant to let a striker of Austin’s quality depart the club during the transfer window, but they may be forced to sell the 28-year-old if a Premier League club comes calling for his signature. Newcastle have improved dramatically in recent months, and if they want to improve that improvement into the new season they must begin by signing a proven goalscorer, such as Austin, in order to increase their threat in the final-third.
Newcastle fans – thoughts? Let us know below!
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