The clause in Demba Ba’s contract which would allow him to leave for a cut price fee of under £8 million has been well publicised. Ba has been superb during his time in a Newcastle shirt which has rightly grabbed the attention of many high profile clubs reportedly looking for extra fire power such as Liverpool.
If he does leave the club this January then it’s not the end of the world because the club have a number of options which would let them cope without him. The first would be to bring in a replacement. Andy Carroll is a name that has been doing the rounds on rumour sites with the big striker linked with a move back to his old club.
Carroll does not feature in Liverpool’s plans under Brendan Rodgers and he is due to be sent back to the club after he picked up an injury playing for West Ham. However, there are two stumbling blocks with that move. Firstly, he is injured and Pardew will want a player who can play straight away. Secondly, the price. Liverpool paid £35 million for Carroll from Newcastle and they will want to re-coop some of that cash.
“It would be disappointing for him to leave in this window for this club and for his team-mates here, but the decision will be his, ultimately, because that clause is there. The most important things we have got with Demba is he is someone who is a goalscorer and he is scoring goals, and that's very, very important to a side,” said Pardew as on football.co.uk.
The easiest thing for Newcastle to do would be to change their system slightly. Papiss Cisse is good enough to play as a sole striker with Newcastle adapting to a new 4-3-3 style of formation. Hatem Ben Arfa and Jonas Gutierrez could push high up on either wing to offer him support and to make runs beyond him. Newcastle have enough discipline in the core of their midfield with the likes of Yohan Cabaye pulling the strings for this to work in the long term.
The other option Newcastle have is to promote a younger player from within the club’s infrastructure to have more of a first team role. Youth brings the advantages of energy, excitement and enthusiasm on a consistent basis. If Ba does leave then Newcastle will be short in terms of attacking options with only Cisse and the Ameobi brothers as likely candidates to walk into the first team.
However, bringing through a younger, fast and exciting striker is something Pardew has done successfully in the past so there’s no reason it can’t happen again.
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