Newcastle United supporters have been drowning their sorrows in the Transfer Tavern in the last few days after seeing the Magpies lose 3-2 at home to Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday, thus suffering their sixth defeat in seven matches.
Rafa Benitez’s men made a fine start to life back in the top-flight by winning four of their opening nine games, but have since then seriously struggled for form and now find themselves just two points clear of the bottom three. And that’s because they have picked up just one point from a possible 21 after going down 3-2 to Claude Puel’s Leicester at St James’ Park, with goals from Riyad Mahrez and Demarai Gray, as well as an own goal from Ayoze Perez, enough to cancel out strikes from Joselu and Dwight Gayle to seal a third win on the spin for the Foxes, while instigating a ninth defeat of the campaign on the North East giants.
Thus, there have been many despondent Magpies fans in the Tavern in recent days, many of whom are already turning their attentions to the forthcoming January transfer window, and thus to who their team could look to sign to bolster their ranks.
And one man they have been linked with in recent times is Red Star Belgrade striker Richmond Boakye, scorer of 37 goals in just 46 games in 2017, including 22 in only 27 appearances this term.
And the Ghana international reportedly attracted the interest of Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic, amongst others, earlier this year, yet it is the Magpies who simply have to get a deal done in January, as failing to land a prolific striker could result in their relegation come May.
Ultimately, 16 goals in just 16 Premier League games is simply not going to get the job done, but what will be of even greater concern to Benitez is that their top goal-scorers, Gayle and Joselu, have managed a paltry three goals each so far this term.
And with fellow striker Aleksandar Mitrovic adding just two more, the forward ranks just aren’t doing the job required to get the goals and ease the pressure on the Magpies backline, whose defensive record isn’t bad but has deteriorated somewhat in recent weeks.
And Benitez will be well aware that things have to improve in the second half of the campaign, and that’s where Boakye comes in.
The 24-year-old has produced a stellar 2017 with a staggering 37 goals in just 46 games for Red Star Belgrade, helping them to second in the SuperLiga last season, and top spot so far this term – he’s even been on Chelsea’s radar such have been his efforts in the last 12 months.
And although many will have question marks over his suitability to the English game, having never played in the Premier League before, he is unlikely to command a hefty transfer fee, and as such Newcastle wouldn’t be losing a great deal were he not able to replicate his form in the North East.
Yet what a signing the 37-goal ace could prove to be were he able to continue his incredible goal-scoring form, and that must be the focus for Benitez and the Newcastle hierarchy, as those goals could be the difference between them staying in the Premier League and going down to the Championship come the end of the season.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!