Indeed, in light of the poor string of results in recent weeks, not many will argue that the Newcastle United line-up is in need of change. The first thought is that Pardew is in great need of a striker, given that Loïc Remy’s one year stint is drawing to a close and the team would appear to be lacking in the goal-scoring department. And that inkling is not misguided.
The Toon has once again been linked to 26-year-old Ivorian goal-machine Seydou Doumbia. His name is one which has been continuously muttered in times of need; a bit like Luuk de Jong. Young de Jong was eventually snapped up on loan like Remy, but unfortunately a loan deal in this case will not suffice. Newcastle United needs a talented forward who is committed to the cause, who will learn to the love the club and appreciate its incredible history and grandeur. On top of that, he’ll need to be so passionate that he won’t mind Pardew’s touchline antics and demonstrate enough talent and desire to convince Fat Mike to deviate from his bargain-only policy and fork out.
This should be no problem for Doumbia. The 5ft 10 dynamite forward has had enough experience to understand the honour and prestige associated with playing for such a big club on the greatest stage of them all. All the player will want is a regular opportunity to showcase his ability and show what he can do for the club, and all CSKA Moskow will want is for Newcastle to meet the £17.5m asking price.
During his four years in Russia, Seydou Alan Doumbia has scored 68 goals in 91 appearances, including 13 goals in 14 appearances this season. Renowned for his power and tenacity, the Ivory Coast international can strike fear into any defence and leave them tangled and confused. Most importantly, he scores goals.
So far other teams interested in his signature are Monaco, Galatasary, Borussia Dortmund and Everton. Big spenders Monaco will have no trouble matching the £17.5 million price tag, so Ashley must be prepared to spend the money. Once that is done, there should be nothing standing in the Ivorian’s way.
In the meantime, other positions arguably need patching up following a series of disappointing results and the deep void that Yohan Cabaye left in Newcastle hearts with his departure in January. I would argue that the answer lies in the signature of a young centre-back with strong potential and an experienced playmaker in midfield. The funds for these deals could be raised with the sale of Hatem Ben Arfa, who has struggled to find the form he enjoyed a few seasons ago.
Will we see the continuation of Newcastle’s ‘French Revolution’ or is it time for a new revolution altogether? Without doubt, the purchase of at least a few new faces should remove the need for Pardew to embarrass himself because he’ll be too busy smiling like he was at the beginning of the season.