Despite rumours that the club are set for a quiet transfer window in defiance of last season's lowly finish, I'm hoping that Pardew and co. will at least recognise that a new striker, or even a few, is/are needed before the 2013/14 campaign gets under way.
In fact, Newcastle’s striker problem has recently been exacerbated by Cisse’s apparent refusal to wear next season’s kit for religious reasons, and some newspapers are even suggesting he is asking for a pay rise. Either way, we can’t be certain that our joint top scorer last season will be hear for the next.
Given the circumstances, it remains unsurprising that the Magpies’ continue to be linked with strikers potentially available on the market, one of these being Villa’s Darren Bent.
Under Paul Lambert last season, the 29 year old had been limited to cameos from the bench following the emergence of the highly successful partnership of Benteke and Weimann. The England international, therefore, should be seeking pastures new.
Bent has established himself as a proven goalscorer in the English game, with the nomad having impressive goal returns for various clubs in the Premier League. In fact, arguably the most successful stint in his career was at Sunderland, where he managed 24 league goals in his first season at the Stadium of Light.
Nevertheless, perhaps the front man can be forgiven for previously signing for our local rivals if he makes the switch to St James’ Park. Newcastle struggled for goals on many occasions last season, and Bent’s record would suggest that he could be the man to fire us further up the table.
However, finances could be an issue if talks do come into fruition with the striker. The 29 year old is currently on around £70,000 at Villa Park, an amount which would be uncomfortably higher than some of our best players. Certainly, I wouldn’t be enthusiastic if he refused to take a pay cut.
There are also talks of Villa demanding £6m for the striker which seems hefty given that he doesn’t seem to be a part of Lambert’s long term plans. It’s especially important that we don’t go around throwing money at teams that play in the same league as us or we could be the architects of our own downfall.
Admittedly, a lot of teams are apparently after Darren Bent, so this is all far from a situation involving the dotted lines of a contract. For me, Bent still has something to give, and Newcastle could end up thriving thanks to the attributes he offers. Whether you agree or disagree, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.