Four players in as many days to add to Mat Debuchy's arrival a couple of weeks ago is the injection of depth we were needing to add to our already quality team (it has to be said). We have had more than our fair share of injuries this season but we have still had a team available on most weeks more than capable to not be anywhere near two points off relegation at the end of the transfer window. Our team on the pitch has always had top class internationals more often than not. The difference now is we have the squad.
Albeit that squad is now looking more than a little French, in fact it looks like a new documentary series of 'A La Clairefontaine: Where Are They Now?' (YouTube). Whether this unique policy of only signing players from Ligue 1 (it seems) will turn out to be a success can only be answered in the future and specifically once we stay up. If we were to go down this season how many 'Frenchies' would actually stay? Certainly not 10 that's for sure. I don't have an issue with it all personally. At the end of the day we would not have signed Sissoko or Mbiwa most likely if we didn't have that heavy French influence at the club to attract them. So both factors feed each other.
The only issue I have about our squad at the moment is I am still adamant we need another striker. Gouffran looks a decent player but doesn't suggest to be a prolific goalscorer, and with Cisse's lack of form, one more front man would complete our squad. There are a few names linked to our club like Ricky van Wolfswinkel or Wilfried Bony but one that hasn't been heavily linked too much is that of Lyon front man Bafetimbi Gomis. Which is surprising when you look at his profile.
here, his immediate availability, the type of player we need, his interest in joining us seeing as he is French (too much assumption?) and the small cost it would take to bring him in. Then the 'risk vs reward' with this deal seems like a no brainer to me.
I do find it unlikely, probably impossible, that Graham Carr doesn't have some kind of an opinion on Gomis as he has been plying his trade in the Champions League for a few years now, as I am sure most of you will have seen at least now and again, as Lyon impressed in the competition throughout the recent past. So maybe we have already looked at him and crossed him off the list, so to suggest signing him now may be a case of barking up the wrong tree. However, I can't help but look at this possible transfer and justify why we would do such a thing.
Everything about him fits into the type of player we look for and hope to sign. He fits into our age range and his fee will be an absolute bargain with his contract almost expired so any sell-on fee would no doubt be a profit. He has proven quality, he will fit into this French revolution seamlessly and might just be the final piece of the jigsaw to move this club out of relegation trouble to then reach our true potential next season and beyond. When you consider we how much fully fledged international strikers cost these days we would be mad to not take up this opportunity.
As far as where his club Lyon are concerned they are looking to sell him in this window rather than lose him for free in the summer. Lyon's club chairman Jean-Michel Aulas has been quoted in L'Equipe magazine with the following, "Lyon do not want a player of such quality to become a free agent in 6 months. The objective is either to extend his contract or transfer him out." As far as Newcastle Utd are concerned we shouldn't want to miss out on a player of such quality by having him extend that contract by transferring him in right now. Get on the phone Llambias. You're in form.
In other news, it seems Laurent Blanc is set to become the new coach at Roma so my desire to have a top class French manager to go along with our top class French players seems doomed. Alain Pardeiu looks like to be in a job for a very long time which does seriously concern me especially with the influence of foreign players in our dressing room. Pardew has been reminded this week of his quotes in 2006 when he was West Ham manager about Arsene Wenger and his foreign legion at Arsenal by declaring his desire for teams to have mainly English players. AP seems like a classic British manager to me. His 4-4-2 hoofball strategy this season confirms it.
But never mind about that. We have new players. A new outlook. A new team almost. Just one more striker would see our squad have strength in depth with quality in each position across the board. In my eyes Bafetimbi Gomis fits the bill on every level. Will it happen? Who know's. We will all be watching come Deadline Day to hear Jim White (annoyingly) shout out those words 'Attention all Newcastle fans, some news just reaching us' and then David Craig fight off a bunch of mental Geordies behind him at St James' Park as he stares down the camera to inform us of what he has just found out...
Good old Deadline Day. Got to love it really.
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