Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce could sign his club’s new Papiss Cisse in Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah.
Reports in recent weeks have already suggested that the Magpies won’t have too much money to spend in the transfer window, and The Shields Gazette’s Liam Kennedy has delivered an update on who the Premier League club might look to target this summer.
In a Q&A, he said: “I think United will choose to keep what they have and box clever in the market, looking for loan deals, free transfers and squeezing as much value as they can out of their reduced summer budget. Players like Kristoffer Ajer are on the list. While deals for the likes of Josh King, Hamza Choudhury, Rob Dickie, Ross Barkley and Eddie Nketiah may also be explored.”
In a truly electric spell at St James’ Park, Cisse arrived on Tyneside to partner Demba Ba, and the two proved crucial in the Magpies finishing in fifth place in the 2011/2012 Premier League season.
The Senegalese hot-shot bagged 13 goals in his first 14 top-flight games for the club, and of course, will be remembered for that iconic swerving strike at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea.
But that goal wasn’t really typical of what Cisse actually did best for Newcastle.
The centre-forward was a predator inside the box, and his instinctive finishes and superb movement, particularly coming onto the near post, made him a superb foil for Ba and someone who could ease the goal-scoring burden on his strike partner – as per Understat, all 14 of Cisse’s last goals for the Magpies in the league came inside the box, while five came within the width of the six-yard area.
And in Nketiah, they could get someone incredibly similar.
Former Leeds striker Noel Whelan has waxed lyrical about Nketiah, claiming that his style of play is very much reminiscent of Jermain Defoe. He said: “He reminds me of another Jermaine Defoe and look at how well he did at West Ham. He’s very much that similar sort of player. He plays off the shoulder, very dangerous in the box. He’s a player you can’t take your eyes off because his movement’s so good.”
His boss at Arsenal, Mikel Arteta, has also raved about the kind of impact he has made at the Emirates, saying after a 3-0 defeat to Manchester City: “I want him to keep doing what he’s doing. The way he played last night against those players, in those difficult conditions, for me is extraordinary at his age.
“He has an immense personality to play, confidence, he’s powerful and is developing in every area I think. I have a lot of faith in him.”
The £17m-rated Nketiah would offer Bruce that real poacher who does his best work inside the box, and either give the Newcastle boss a rotation option with Callum Wilson or perhaps even someone for the former Bournemouth man to play alongside.