Premier League sides will always pay big money for strikers that score goals, just look to Liverpool’s £35million acquisition of Andy Carroll, and they could well be ready to splash the cash for another of the league’s goal machines.
Demba Ba is a very good striker, but then so is Papiss Cisse, and Newcastle United are just not big enough a team to keep both of them happy without both of them starting – so which side could give him a better home?
Goals are a precious commodity in the Premier League, so Ba claiming unhappiness this week at having to play on the left and being behind Cisse in the pecking order for the centre forward position, will have teams such as Chelsea and Liverpool taking interest.
Ba’s unhappiness is may have something to do with the fact that before the Africa Cup of Nations, and the arrival of compatriot Cisse, he had already scored 15 goals in 19 league games, but he returned to see the centre-forward position taken by his Senegal team-mate and was deployed in his new unfamiliar position – Ba scored just one more goal that season.
If Ba is not content at St James’ Park, where should he go? The fifth placed team from last season are able to offer better terms and prospects than most sides in the division, so a step up would be almost inevitable.
As it happens, there is a club struggling for goals and a lethal finisher that blundered on deadline day by releasing a certain £35million man without signing a replacement.
In fact, the more one thinks about it, the more it would make sense for Ba to join the Brendan Rodgers’ side.
Despite last year’s Premier League failure, the prestige of playing to for the world-famous Merseyside club is far greater than the more regionally popular Newcastle.
Liverpool have curtailed a lot of their spending recently, but their wage bill will still allow for an improvement on the Senegal international’s wages.
The differences on the pitch could be transformative for Rodgers’ team, as Ba has consistently shown the guile and finishing prowess that Liverpool have been so desperately craving for the past season or so.
The Reds are not the only side that could do with a boost in their striking potency, as that appears to be an area neglected a little in the summer transfer window by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.
The Blues’ oligarch owner was free with his spending in the creative midfield area; spending substantial transfer fees of £32million and £25million, on young stars Eden Hazard and Oscar respectively.
Though last season’s misfiring centre-forward understudy to Didier Drogba, Fernando Torres, has shown some improvement, he remains a shadow of the player that inspired Abramovich to pay a British transfer record of £50million to bring him to Stamford Bridge.
Since young Belgian Romelu Lukaku was loaned out to West Brom, the inconsistent Daniel Sturridge was left as the only other option in centre-forward.
This may have been done to prove to Torres that the club was placing its trust in the Spain international, but if the goals only trickle in up to January, a move for Ba would not be a bad idea.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insisted he had no plans to bring in further replacements for the departed Robin van Persie, but this stance may change if one of the new faces, France striker Olivier Giroud, continues to lack confidence when faced with goalscoring opportunities.
Four games is ridiculously early to write off a striker who has just arrived in the Premier League, but the temptation to recruit a proven goalscorer in the competition to add to his forward options may be too good to resist for Wenger.
One thing is for certain in the Ba situation; Newcastle need to do all they can to keep him and Cisse happy, because any aspirations of going one better than last year and breaching the top four will depend on them providing the goals.
If they cannot, there will be a queue of top four teams lining up to take the Premier League goal machine.