By Jim McMeachin
Newcastle are reported to have made an early move for Marseille winger Andre Ayew whose contract with the Ligue 1 side runs out in the summer.
Ayew fits the mold of Newcastle United’s recruitment policies on several levels, which is not necessarily a good thing.
The 25-year-old Ghanaian has already drawn the attention of perennial European players Borussia Dortmund, Roma, Liverpool and Spurs which could automatically place us out of contention in spite of our long-term interest in the player.
Of course it means that he could be fast tracked on the Mike Ashley Career Plan™ in which promising players come and vacation in Newcastle for a year before moving on at a tidy profit as soon as possible.
Even if he ends up on Tyneside, having him as our first confirmed target is enough to give one pause for concern.
In spite of his position as a long-held target by Graham Carr, the move for Ayew is enough to give a Newcastle supporter cause for concern for two main reasons.
First, the desire to acquire talented wing/forward hybrids for coaches who don’t know how to use them is misguided at best. Alan Pardew struggled to find ways to include players like Sylvain Marveaux, Hatem Ben Arfa, Gabriel Obertan, Remy Cabella, etc. etc. etc. while John Carver hasn’t really shown much more ability to deal with this type of player.
Continuing to buy players who your manager/coach can’t deal with is folly. If John Carver is not the long-term answer at coach then perhaps this move makes sense, but if he does stay around…
The other reason that I’m not bursting with fruit flavor to read that Newcastle have reportedly offered a pre-contract to Ayew comes down to the “rumored losses” column of our squad.
It is pretty well accepted that Moussa Sissoko is out the door as soon as the window opens over the summer and Cheik Tiote is as good as gone as well which would seem to suggest that at least one central midfield player might be a good idea.
“But wait, this is early rumors and you’re flying off the handle for no real reason,” you might say. You would be justified in doing so because yes, it is very early. The window’s not even close to opening.
HOWEVER… I would point at the continued problem with depth at center back over a period of years to suggest that it’s not out of the ordinary for NUFC to not address squad needs proactively (or even reactively).
Time will ultimately tell, but I’m not going to get very excited about Ayew at this point. He’ll probably end up at Spurs anyway.
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