Too early for Newcastle to discard youngster?

There is no secret that Alan Pardew is looking to bolster Newcastle’s attacking options in the summer. However, there is still a role for the forwards currently at the club to play. Leon Best, Shola Ameobi and Peter Lovenkrands should all provide healthy competition for starting places. The latter has already fired a warning to any potential new arrivals that he won’t just forfeit his place in the team, but for Nile Ranger it looks like that decision might be taken out of his hands. According to the Sunday Sun, he is not in Pardew’s plans, but is it too early to discard a player with so much talent?

Despite his initial promise, it all seems to be going wrong for Nile Ranger. From being handed a five-year deal just last year, now it looks like Ranger’s days at St James’ Park are numbered. He has the attributes, pace and power, but he obviously hasn’t progressed as much as the Newcastle staff would have liked. He has had discipline problems, turning up late for training and pictured holding a replica gun, so there are questions over his attitude. But perhaps more worrying is his profligacy in front of goal, with one glaring miss against West Ham still bound to be haunting him.

There are clearly deficiencies in Ranger’s game, as there are with any youngster, but are these not things that can be worked on and improved? The 20 year old is raw, a rough diamond if you like, but there is some talent there. With a bit more composure in front of goal he would be a decent weapon. However, it is very hard to teach someone to be a goal scorer, it usually comes naturally; you either have it or you don’t. Perhaps this is the thinking behind Pardew’s decision.

One thing I don’t understand is why Newcastle aren’t considering sending him out on loan; it’s reportedly a permanent move or no move at all. This is surprising, as loan moves can be greatly beneficial to young players; just ask Daniel Sturridge, Especially seeing as possible fees being mentioned are a couple of million at most, so Newcastle don’t stand to gain much from letting him go. Whereas if they could mould him into a more rounded player he could have much to offer, and of course he has time on his side.

To some extent, you have to commend the Newcastle staff for being so ruthless. They’ve obviously decided that Ranger will never be a top class player, so instead of investing time in him, they will look elsewhere to find a top notch striker. However, I think this is a bit harsh on the youngster, who, if he netted once, the goals might just start to flow. I think it’s too early to be giving up on Nile Ranger, but there’s a bargain to be had and apparently Bolton and QPR are ready to pounce.

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