Mike Ashley must sanction a January swoop for KV Oostende forward Fashion Sakala amid reports the Newcastle United target has his heart set on a move to the Premier League.
According to The Sun (13/12, p. 59), Sakala is eying a fairy-tale deal to play in England in 2021 with Newcastle and West Ham United believed to be keen.
The Toon and Hammers were linked with interest in the 23-year-old attacker this summer, with claims Sakala’s change in representatives to Wasserman saw the LA-based group push for a move to the Premier League or Spain’s La Liga.
Sevilla were also believed to be showing an interest in Sakala’s situation after he struck eight goals in 28 Jupiler Pro League fixtures last season, but no deal was secured for the £1.08million-rated man who has struck home five in 14 Belgian top-flight games this term.
Sakala has now found the back of the net 20 times for Oostende across all competitions since moving to the Diaz Arena in 2018, where he is proving to be a vastly versatile forward with appearances and goals at striker and on both wings.
Ashley sanctioning a move to sign Sakala in January, against reports the Newcastle owner is opposed to any permanent deals, would see the Toon acquire a January dream for summer arrival Callum Wilson.
The ex-Bournemouth marksman has hit the ground running since joining the Magpies for £20million, with Wilson boasting seven goals in 10 games to account for 50% of the total 14 scored by Newcastle players in the Premier League – the second-highest contribution rate.
But Wilson will soon feel the strain of carrying the Toon’s offence under Steve Bruce, who is in dire need of offensive reinforcements with no other player yet to find the back of the net more than once in black and white this term, including Joelinton who has just seven in 57 appearances in total for United.
Sakala can take some of the offensive burden away from Wilson, though, as teams would struggle to contain both the free-scoring 28-year-old and the lively presence the Zambia international would bring.
Add in the eventual reappearance of star forward Allan Saint-Maximin, who is yet to return to training, and Bruce would have vastly different attacking options than those used for the system he currently favours but is coming under fierce criticism.
“I’m bored of watching Newcastle, they bore me. It’s like they’re grinding out results,” former Toon midfielder Kieron Dyer told Sky Sports via quotes by talkSPORT. “Newcastle were the entertainers. Let’s try to score some goals, go blow for blow and get some excitement back.”
Sakala may not single-handly bring 20-goals-a-season to St. James’ Park but alongside Wilson, will help to bring the excitement back to Tyneside in a lively attacking duo.
AND in other news: “Typical Newcastle” – Exclusive: Rob Lee drops fresh £300m takeover claim.