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Is Ola Toivonen Really Worth £8m?

Ola Toivonen in Action for PSV

Newcastle appear to be persistent in their search for a new striker with rumours circulating that PSV’s Ola Toivonen could be on his way to St James’ Park.

With Demba Ba clearly unsettled at the moment, it is a welcoming relief for fans to see that Pardew seems to have a few potential replacements lined up. The club have recently been linked with Malaga’s Rondon and Twente’s de Jong, but with their transfer requirements possibly exceeding £10 million, we might have to look at cheaper alternatives.

With all that in mind, the club could opt to sign Toivonen with his relatively smaller fee being a key factor in the modern game. But it would be foolish for us to simply analyse the money side of things when we’re in search of a striker to partner prolific goalscorer Papiss Cisse up front.

Toivonen, 25,  is on the back of a terrific season with PSV, netting 18 in 27 Eredivise games, and 25 in 46 in all competitions. Standing at a colossal 1.89m, the striker is very dangerous in the air and has excellent movement in the box considering his height. Such attributes could be key if he is to compete with the physicality of the English game.

However, as I often do in my articles, it is important to scrutinise the league he’s playing in. Whenever the Eredivise comes to mind, I think of the likes of Afonso Alves, a man who netted 7 goals in one game for Herenveen before scoring 4 in 31 league games for Middlesbrough. The Dutch League has always been a safe haven for strikers as most sides don’t prioritise their defences. The step up from such a league to the Premier League is massive and one that many players can’t handle.

So, is Ola Toivonen worth such a large sum of money? The striker has only ever performed in the Eredivise and so it is very difficult to judge his abilities. The striker squandered a few chances for Sweden at Euro 2012 in his two appearances, suggesting that perhaps he can’t cut it on the bigger stage. I suggest we try and sign a player from a more established league so that we have a better idea about what standard of player we’re getting.

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