Newcastle United have yet to clinch promotion, but they remain in the box seat in the Championship, sitting top of the division with eight matches to play. Although Rafa Benitez will maintain that his only focus is on the league run-in, there will be discussions going on behind the scenes about the summer recruitment that lies ahead.
The Magpies will want to make significant improvements to their squad to ensure they can compete in the top flight and Benitez will push the board to give him the tools that he needs. The Evening Chronicle report that the club are looking to add two strikers with Premier League experience if they are promoted. Andre Gray, Callum Wilson and Daniel Sturridge are all mentioned in this report.
What would they bring to Newcastle?
The Magpies have started to target more English talent and that looks set to continue this summer. Andre Gray is an interesting case as his contract at Burnley runs out at the end of next season. Newcastle have followed his progress in recent years, with the Telegraph reporting an interest in January 2016. They may be ready to take advantage of his contract situation this summer.
He is a quick and mobile centre-forward, capable of making runs in behind. The 25-year-old has had a good first season in the Premier League, scoring eight goals in a team that focuses on a being solid at the back. There is more to come from the striker and several clubs will be keeping an eye on him. However, Newcastle already have a similar striker in Dwight Gayle and it could be that they would be better suited looking elsewhere.
Another player that has been on the club’s radar for a while is Callum Wilson. Sky Sports reported that they were interested in a January move for the striker, but injury prevented that from happening. He has scored eleven Premier League goals since the Cherries were promoted to the top flight in 2015. Injuries have prevented him from reaching the heights that he promised during his early months in the Premier League.
Newcastle will be hoping that they can be the club that gets the most out of Wilson if they were to sign him. Like Gray, the problem is that he could be too similar to Gayle, but it could be that Newcastle are looking for a player with a similar profile to their current top scorer.
The final link will produce more excitement on Tyneside as Daniel Sturridge is one of the best strikers that has played in the Premier League in recent seasons. He has been hindered by injuries and is now struggling to fit into Jurgen Klopp’s system, as the German prefers to play with three mobile forwards, rather than a recognised striker.
The England international has a lot of technical ability and is capable of producing moments of magic. He is good at running with the ball and can score all sorts of goals. Sturridge certainly has a better goal record than the other two strikers discussed, but it would be a risk for Newcastle to buy him considering his injury record.
That said, it would send a message to the rest of the league that they are going to be a much bigger threat this time around.
Who would be the best fit?
They are all very good strikers and any of them could thrive at St James’ Park. Andre Gray may be the best option for the club considering he has had fewer injuries than the other two and has the potential to grow under the guidance of Rafa Benitez.
However, Daniel Sturridge would be an excellent signing and he should head up the list of striking targets this summer. He is likely to be on the move as he is no longer a first team regular at Liverpool. The England international is now 27-years-old and he will want to be the main man for his club side.
Newcastle are a club on the up and have an excellent manager in Benitez. Although it would be a step down, the Magpies remain a massive club and Sturridge to Newcastle could be a move that suits all parties.
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