Newcastle United supporters have been in high spirits in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their side seriously increase their chances of staying in the Premier League courtesy of a 3-0 victory over Southampton on Saturday.
Rafa Benitez’s men went into their encounter with the South Coast outfit off the back of a 2-0 loss at Liverpool in their preceding league game, a result which saw them slip two points and just two places clear of the division’s relegation zone. However, the Magpies have put some distance between themselves and danger as a double from Kenedy as well as a Matt Ritchie strike sealed an easy success over the Saints at St James’ Park, thus moving Benitez’s men up to 13th place in the Premier League table.
Subsequently, there have been many thrilled Newcastle supporters in the Tavern this week, several of whom are somewhat frustrated that their side do not have another game until the final day of March, due to an international break and indeed this weekend’s FA Cup fixtures.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Magpies fans to get their teeth into, not least recent reports that their club will prioritise a permanent move for on-loan winger Kenedy in the summer following his fine start to life in the North East.
And while there’s little doubting that the 22-year-old would be a useful addition, they should instead do all they can to lure his Chelsea teammate Michy Batshuayi to St James’ Park, as that would be a much better signing for Benitez’s side.
Ultimately, it’s the lack of striking options which have seriously hurt Newcastle so far this season, with Joselu doing little to suggest that he is the man to fire them to safety, and while Dwight Gayle has got some goals in recent times, question marks remain over his all round capability to lead the line.
And with Islam Slimani yet to feature for the club since his loan move from Leicester City in January, and Aleksandar Mitrovic surprisingly allowed to leave on loan to Fulham, there remains a huge hole in the Magpies’ striking department.
And it’s a void which could well be filled by Batshuayi, as although he hasn’t hit the heights at Chelsea, he has proven his worth since moving on loan to Borussia Dortmund.
The 21-year-old joined the Bundesliga outfit back in January and has since impressed with seven goals and an assist in just nine appearances for the club, netting a 28-minute brace in their 3-2 win over top four challengers Eintracht Frankfurt at the weekend.
And while some Newcastle fans will have reservations given he hasn’t been able to do it in England so far, it’s not as if the Belgium international hasn’t scored goals for Chelsea, having bagged 19 in just 53 appearances for the Blues.
Clearly, the 21-year-old was suffering from a lack of confidence and belief in his abilities earlier this term hence his struggles at Stamford Bridge, but having re-discovered his goal-scoring touch in Germany, as well as the likelihood that he’d be the number one man at Newcastle, there’s no reason why Benitez can’t get the best out of him in the North East.
And were the Magpies to indeed stay up this season, they will simply need to bolster their striking ranks in the summer to push on and move to the next level next time round.
Yes, landing Kenedy permanently would be a great piece of business, but their overwhelming need for a striker means that his £22.5 million-rated Chelsea teammate Batshuayi (as per Transfermarkt) would be a much bigger and better signing for the club this summer.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!