Newcastle United’s season got off to a promising start last weekend even if the result didn’t appear to suggest so.
The Magpies starting eleven against Tottenham was almost identical to the one which the supporters were used to seeing in action last season, although Rafa Benitez’s substitutions allowed the St James’ Park faithful to feast their eyes upon new signings Yoshinori Muto and Salomon Rondon.
Although Mike Ashley once again frustrated supporters by failing to break the transfer record, he concluded a handful of productive deals which should help the club to ensure their survival once again, although their failure to sign a new number ten has left them short of attacking options.
However, Newcastle could yet solve that issue by concluding a shock deal for Yaya Toure whilst he remains a free agent.
The Ivorian had previously been linked with a reunion with Manuel Pellegrini at West Ham, but Pellegrini’s comments as cited by Goal suggest that he will not be moving to the London Stadium this season, paving the way for rival Premier League clubs to submit an offer.
Toure is certainly past his best and doesn’t quite possess the same steamroller style of dribbling which he once deployed on a regular basis for Manchester City, but there’s no doubt his technical quality remains firmly in tact and he would offer the Magpies a cutting-edge in the final-third.
The main problem concerns Toure’s wage demands, but if he is willing to take a significant pay cut or even agree to a pay-as-you-play contract with the club then there’s no reason why Benitez should turn down the opportunity to sign him.
His record of 59 goals and 35 assists from 230 Premier League appearances is just a small indicator of how effective Toure can be in the final-third.
With Ayoze Perez the only recognised number ten currently residing within Newcastle’s ranks, the pragmatic decision to sign Toure would help Benitez rotate his options throughout the season, and he could even do a job slightly deeper in midfield alongside Jonjo Shelvey and Mo Diame.
Toure is certainly not without his flaws and it would represent a risk to bring him into the club, but in Newcastle’s current situation there’s plenty of reason to believe his presence would be hugely beneficial in their bid to retain their top-flight status.
Newcastle fans – thoughts? Let us know below!