This time last year Andy Carroll was two weeks away from leaving Newcastle United for £35million in a move that infuriated the Toon supporters as there was no time for the then, new Magpies boss Alan Pardew to replace him. Owner Mike Ashley has not been on the best of terms with his fellow Newcastle supporters over the past few years and this was another decision that raised plenty of questions.
However, this season Alan Pardew has formed a fantastic side that has performed well above expectations with summer signing Demba Ba the stand out player as one of the leading scorers in the division. Unfortunately it seems the media and fellow Premier League clubs have heard of a buy-out clause in the deadly Ba’s contract at St James Park that could see him leave for less than £8million should a bid come in. The likes of Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have been heavily linked with a move for the Senegalese international who will be missing for around six weeks due to international duty.
Ba joined Newcastle after leaving West Ham in the summer after a similar clause in his contract that allowed him to leave for nothing if the East London club were relegated, which of course they were. It seems Ba and his injury problems combine to ensure his agent and the player needs to have assurances in contracts that allow him a get-out clause.
With a lack of quality up front apart from Ba however; with Leon Best and Shola Ameobi, generally unreliable for regular goals, Pardew and Ashley have made a statement of intent with the signing of fellow Senegalese international Papiss Cisse from Freiburg in Germany, in a deal that could reach £10million. The 26-year-old striker has been prolific so far throughout his career and could add even more goals to an improving Toon side.
This shrewd business from Pardew seems to be a ploy to not just improve the team but also to keep hold of Ba. The former West Ham striker has expressed his delight at the signing.
“I think even when he sleeps, he thinks about the back of the net. Welcome to Papisto” Ba wrote on his Twitter page while in Africa.
The new signing will no doubt keep Ba interested in staying in the North East and if the two hit it off at the African Cup of Nations in the next month then that could give Ba the confidence to commit himself to the club. A genius piece of work once again by Pardew could set up a great future for Newcastle who have a definite chance of reaching the Europa League places this season and are also still in the FA Cup. Ba is set to begin contract negotiations with Newcastle when he returns in February.
The new signing, profoundly named, Papiss Demba Rodney Cisse will return at the same time as Ba from the mid-season tournament and is full of praise for his strike-partner and compatriot.
“Demba has had a brilliant season and it can only get better,” Cisse told the Daily Mirror before he flew to join Ba and his team mates for the pending African Cup of Nations.
“It is going to be a great honour to play with him. He is a simply fantastic player and I think we are going to make a formidable partnership. This is a partnership we hope will get the fans excited, I am certainly looking forward to it starting.”
Could Ba and Cisse become the best strike-partnership in the Premier League? Let me know on Twitter: @Brad_Pinard
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