Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Strikes Me Toon Are in Dire Need of Firepower; Rafa Must Be Given Cash to Bring in a Top-Class Hit Man

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Strikes Me Toon Are in Dire Need of Firepower; Rafa Must Be Given Cash to Bring in a Top-Class Hit Man

Article excerpt

Byline: JOHNGIBSON

IT'S like buses, isn't it? None come along for an age then two turn up at once.

So it has been with Newcastle's signings in this summer of frustration.

We wait and wait amid a growing drought, then this week two guys fly in to double Rafa Benitez's imports.

Now we stand at four safely gathered up and nine off the wage bill, with more action to come. At least we hope so.

Jacob Murphy and Javier Manquillo have bolstered first-team numbers, although Rafa is still chasing a goalkeeper and a striker.

I'm not certain how desperate we are for a keeper in comparison to the dire need of a striker of stature - and they cost. Think of Alan Shearer then, and Romelu Lukaku now. Hence the most expensive, biggest and the most difficult deal to secure is yet to come.

Hold your nerve, Mike Ashley, but not your money. It's time to make a statement.

Goals win games. It's no good buying two wingers if there is not enough firepower up top to convert the crosses.

All Geordies know what Christian Atsu is about after a seasonlong loan, but are very much in a 'wait and see' situation with Florian Lejeune, Murphy and Manquillo.

Murphy is not an unknown, having trodden the boards with Norwich and scored in both games against United last campaign - he looks an interesting addition to the squad - but the other two are a blank page. Manquillo has taken a bit of criticism about whether he is good enough, but certainly age is on his side.

Ironic, isn't it, that United's two right-backs both came via loan spells at Sunderland? DeAndre Yedlin is blisteringly quick and has the potential to be a top player.

United's summer deals stack up like this: IN: Christian Atsu, Florian Lejeune, Jacob Murphy and Javier Manquillo.

OUT: Vurnon Anita, Yoan Gouffran, Sammy Ameobi, Haris Vuckic, Lubo Satka (all released), Florian Thauvin, Kevin Mbabu, Daryl Murphy (sold), Matz Sels, Adam Armstrong (on loan). …

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