Newly released minutes from the Newcastle Fans Forum suggest that the club are from certain to land another striker in the January window.
Managing director Lee Charnley suggested that the search for improvements was on the agenda but made no promises, saying:
“The club are continuing to look at potential targets, but stressed no guarantee could be made in reference to January.”
That the hunt for reinforcements in the goal-scoring department was of paramount concern suggests that those charged with improving Newcastle’s lot are missing the point.
Here’s why Alan Pardew’s men – 7/2 for a second successive victory against Tottenham at White Hart Lane this weekend – should be diverting their January attentions to other parts of the side.
No other player rivals Cheick Tiote’s midfield playmaking capabilities.
The Ivorian bulldog averages 64.5 passes per Premier League game this term.
It’s a number that dwarves the means of 42.9 and 28.4 played by alternative central midfielders Jack Colback and Vurnon Anita.
As such it’s clear that signing someone who can share the burden of responsibility for the ball with Tiote, who is also by far and away the side’s most prolific tackler, would dramatically enhance Newcastle’s ability to build attacks.
Only three Premier League sides have conceded more goals than the Magpies.
Defensive organisation has crumbled to dust at times this term, notably against Southampton and Crystal Palace, posing serious questions over Pardew’s first choice centre-halves.
Signing an adept organiser at the back could help to shut off the supply of cheap concessions.
Doing so would provide a far more sure-fire basis for improvement than the acquisition of another striker, whose ability to affect an upturn in the club’s form is entirely contingent on the service he receives its malfunctioning midfield.
Papiss Cisse has scored four goals in four appearances since returning from injury.
It would have been five too, but for a farcical miss against Leicester.
The Senegalese has got his groove back in no uncertain terms following braces against Hull and Swansea and looks more than up to leading the line this term.