Reports have recently claimed that Newcastle United are interested in bringing in Saint-Etienne duo Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Kurt Zouma, along with Marseille striker Andre-Pierre Gignac.
These reports show that the Magpies are still very much interested in searching Ligue 1 for talent like they did last season, when they found players such as Moussa Sissoko, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yoan Gouffran, and Mathieu Debuchy.
Ever since the departure of Demba Ba to Chelsea, Newcastle have been struggling to come by goals and, after narrowly avoiding relegation, it is clear that the club is in desperate need of someone to partner up with Papiss Cisse.
By looking towards players such as Aubameyang and Gignac, it must be comforting for Newcastle fans to see that Pardew is aware of the club’s weaknesses and problems.
Over the course of the past Ligue 1 season, both strikers scored a combined total of 32 goals between them, with Aubameyang netting 19 and Gignac scoring 13. And by scoring those goals, both players helped their clubs to reach the Europa League and the Champions League, respectively.
By analysing both players and by judging them on how Pardew likes his football club to run, it is fair to assume that Aubameyang is the better choice. The striker usually plays up top by himself with the playmaker behind him and wings on either side of him constantly feeding him the ball.
He is a tall player who can get away from his marker with ease thanks to his pace - and it is no surprise that he is in demand.
Then there is Zouma, who is a young and exciting player emerging out of French football and the Saint-Etienne academy. With rumours of club captain Fabricio Coloccini wanting to leave Newcastle, there will be a big hole in the middle of the defence that will have to be filled, and Zouma is an ideal replacement for the club.
However, as exciting as these players seem, they won’t come cheap. Reports have been suggesting that Newcastle have made a €29m bid for both Aubameyang and Zouma. But Zouma’s agent has dismissed the report, calling it “completely false”.
But the difficulty for Newcastle fans is to see the other clubs that have been linked to both players. AS Monaco, PSG, Bayer Leverkusen, Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund have been linked to Aubameyang, whereas Chelsea, Liverpool and Anzhi Makhachkala have been keeping a close eye on Zouma.
The optimism for Newcastle fans is that there is already a French atmosphere built at St James’ Park and that does have the effect of luring some France’s more younger and talented players.
And even if the clubs fails to sign any of the three players, it’s great to see Alan Pardew showing interest in players that can make Newcastle United a force once again.
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