Newcastle United have endured a disappointing opening to the campaign following a summer of frustration which was characterised by Mike Ashley’s refusal to splash the cash in the transfer market.
The transfer of Salomon Rondon was particularly frustrating for the supporters: Newcastle were clearly crying out for further options at centre-forward, but they had to send Dwight Gayle in the other direction to sign a striker on a season-long loan who struggled to impress during 3 full seasons in the Premier League with West Brom.
In fairness to Rondon he did well to hold the ball up on the rare occasions he managed to receive possession against Manchester City on Saturday evening, and he capped his performance with a fine assist for DeAndre Yedlin’s first-half equaliser.
But yet there is no doubt that Rondon represents nothing more than a sideways step for Newcastle and it’s only a matter of time before the Magpies are relegated unless there is a major shift in their transfer policy.
With that to consider, Rafa Benitez should do everything in his power to convince Mike Ashley to sanction a deal for Andrea Favilli at the end of the season, providing they remain in the Premier League of course.
The 21-year-old striker is one of Italy’s most promising attacking talents and would represent a huge upgrade on the distinctly average Rondon.
Juventus recognised his huge level of potential before he suffered a cruciate ligament injury last season as he bagged 8 goals from 14 appearances for Ascoli before the end of November.
The Old Lady moved to secure his signature earlier in the summer for a fee of just £6.75 million before they sent him on a season-long loan deal to fellow Serie A outfit Genoa.
Like Rondon, Favilli possesses a bullish frame and is a physical force to be reckoned with in the final-third, but his technical quality and poachers instincts are vastly superior to that of Newcastle’s number 9.
Whether he is capable of breaking into Juventus’ first-team remains to be seen, and if he fails to demonstrate sufficient quality during his time with Genoa they may well be tempted to sell him for a healthy profit next summer.
If that eventually proves to be the case, Newcastle should be on hand to secure the services of a huge upgrade on their current choice of centre-forwards.
Newcastle fans – thoughts? Let us know below!