Newcastle could have got themselves a striker in the mould of Alan Shearer with a move for VfL Wolfsburg marksman Wout Weghorst.
German publication BILD claimed earlier in the summer that the Magpies wanted to sign the Dutchman during the transfer window, with fellow Premier League side Arsenal also said to be interested.
This, of course, was in the midst of a potential takeover of the Tyneside club by the Saudi-led consortium, which failed to materialise in the end. BILD suggested that Wolfsburg were demanding a fee in the region of £32m for their star striker, but with the deadline shut, Weghorst remained with the Bundesliga side.
Still the Premier League’s all-time leading goal-scorer, Shearer married an incredible knack of finding the back of the net, with both power and elegance.
The former England international could just as easily thump in a header at one moment, before showing a bit of finesse inside the box to find the corner in another.
In the 6 foot 6 Weghorst, Newcastle could have landed about the closest thing to a Shearer in the modern era. Aside from his ridiculous physical gifts and advantage in the air – he won 4.1 aerial duels per game in the Bundesliga last season – the Dutchman has some pretty nifty footwork, and also has the vision to bring his teammates into play.
As per Whoscored, the 28-year-old averaged an impressive 1.2 key passes per match in the German top-flight, picking up five assists in total – the previous campaign saw him set up his teammates on seven occasions in just the league alone.
And akin to Shearer, Weghorst works his socks off for his team playing in that central striker role. His fellow Wolfsburg ace, Admir Mehmedi, said: “He runs a lot for the team and has a really strong mentality. I can’t think of another player who is so crazy, in a positive way!”
Sadly for the Magpies, what with the takeover falling through, Weghorst may be a player they look at in a year’s time as one that got away.
And in other news, this rising star may be Rafa Benitez’s biggest regret at St James’ Park.