In the recent fixture against Manchester City, the Cabaye-Tiote-Anita combination ensured that the illustrious names in the City midfield were pegged back for the most part and if not for a spate of controversial refereeing decisions, Newcastle’s dominance perhaps deserved more than a 2-0 defeat.
However, their frontmen was forced to feed on scraps throughout bar a good chance in the latter stages of the game, while Cisse’s late substitute appearance failed to halt his diminishing reputation. This can be seen as an urgent reminder that Newcastle should look to scour the transfer market for options to ably deputise for their existing strikers and/or improve the incision of their midfield.
One of these options is Nacer Chadli, a Moroccan/Belgian wide-man currently plying his trade for Tottenham. He is reportedly unsettled and concerned about how his lack of game time at the club could jeopardise a place in the Belgium squad in come the World Cup. Furthermore, despite being able to play both as a winger and a second striker, one can hardly fancy his chances of usurping the likes of Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela and Dembele.
He arrived at White Hart Lane in the summer with a sizeable reputation from Dutch side FC Twente but has so far failed to live up to expectations due to injury and lack of appearances. The extent to which Chadli has integrated well into English football like his compatriots Hazard and Lukaku have is thus yet to be seen.
During his time in the Eredivisie, however, he has proven to be technically accomplished and is just as comfortable applying the finishing touch with his weaker foot. He serves up more of an end-product than most of Newcastle’s current wingers and boasts notable dribbling ability, which he puts into effect by drifting inwards from the left wing and shooting with his favoured right foot from outside the box. The winger is also tall, reasonably well-built and thus appears suited for the physical side of the game.
Moreover, Newcastle need not secure the services of the player strictly on a permanent basis. Chadli and indeed Tottenham themselves would not be adverse to the prospect of a loan deal, which would not only see him well-conditioned by the summer, but his ticket to Brazil all but confirmed. He is currently surplus to requirements at the club and a loan would certainly keep him sharp and match-fit. Such an arrangement seems only mutually beneficial for all three parties.
In a similar vein, the Magpies may also consider a loan move for Manchester United outcast Wilfried Zaha. The 21-year-old has suffered from a lack of first-team opportunities that has stunted his development and is reportedly attempting to force through a temporary move to get his career back on course. Furthermore, if his time at Crystal Palace is anything to go by, he is a lethal addition to any team.
Newcastle are thus perhaps best served this January supplementing potential deals for the De Jong brothers with such a temporary arrangement, with the replacement of the exiled Jonas Gutierrez surely one of the priorities as well.