Steve Bruce should urge Newcastle United to swoop in and sign Sam Cosgrove during the January transfer window after Stoke City had the Aberdeen striker scouted.
According to The Scottish Sun, Potters boss Michael O’Neill is a big admirer of Cosgrove and had the 24-year-old watched as Aberdeen were beaten 2-1 by runaway Premiership leaders Rangers earlier this month.
Cosgrove has been a long-term target for Stoke having tracked his situation for the last two windows, while Newcastle are said to have been assessing his potential as a younger Andy Carroll type who can provide cover in attack.
The 6 ft 4 colossus turned down a £2.7m move to French second-tier side En Avant de Guingamp last summer, and Aberdeen are expected to demand a similar fee to sell him this month.
A deal for Cosgrove would further deplete Aberdeen’s attacking ranks, with talks with Rangers over a deal to offload Scott Wright this month already underway and Ryan Edmondson now at Northampton after his loan from Leeds.
Cosgrove missed the start of the 2020/21 Premiership season after sustaining cartilage damage but returned to action in late October and has started seven of his 12 Scottish top-flight appearances to date, scoring three goals.
Stoke’s scouts will not have been entirely bowled over by Cosgrove’s performance against Rangers earlier this month, with Steven Gerrard’s side winning their 21st game of the season to pull further clear of rivals Celtic at the top of the table.
Cosgrove could not find the back of the net with his only shot of the Gers affair, having rarely found possession in the final third but contesting 13 ground duels and nine aerial contests, per SofaScore, to show that he was not afraid to go toe-to-toe with the best opposition around.
His output up top was not unusual, either, with Cosgrove only averaging 1.1 shots per league game this season, yet his combative nature was far above his general standards of 6.6 ground duels and 5.3 aerial challenges contested a game. Those are certainly aspects Bruce would stand to benefit from at Newcastle, with the threat of a relegation battle a growing reality after Monday night’s 3-0 loss at Arsenal.
Cosgrove’s stellar goal record last season proved he knows where the goal is, too, having scored 23 times in 38 games across all competitions, which Bruce would no doubt love to tap into with Callum Wilson proving his only regular goal threat at Newcastle.
But even Wilson has not found the back of the net in his last four Premier League games and only boasts one goal in his last seven top-flight appearances, forcing Bruce to hope that Carroll can add to his only goal in the last 1,010 days across all competitions.
Dwight Gayle also only has one goal to his name this season and is yet to start a fixture in any competition, with each of his seven appearances to date coming from the bench following yet more injury struggles for the 31-year-old.
Having another option who can score frequently in Cosgrove, then, could prove to be what saves Newcastle’s season from total collapse, and a £2.7m fee may prove very good value for money.
AND in other news, Newcastle United are being targeted to solve another PL side’s transfer crisis…