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Newcastle United are back in the Premier League. The Magpies sealed promotion back to the top division after winning the EFL Championship title this season under the guidance of manager Rafael Benitez.
However, they can’t afford to rest on their laurels now. Benitez must now look to strengthen the squad and should build a team that is capable of competing in the top-flight and put in a strong showing on their return. Plans will be underway in a full-fledged manner at the St. James’ Park as they go about identifying key areas that need to be reinforced and the players that they can bring in as the possible reinforcements.
Newcastle may have started strengthening already as it was reported earlier this week that they are close to sealing the signature of Christian Atsu from Chelsea on a permanent deal after the Ghanaian impressed on loan this season. Another area that they will need to add personnel is the striker’s position.
While Dwight Gayle has done brilliantly in his first season with Newcastle in the Championship, his past record in the Premier League with Crystal Palace is underwhelming. Aleksandar Mitrovic, on the other hand, has struggled to find consistency in his game, while Daryl Murphy is a little too old to be a regular first teamer. So, it is imperative for the Tynesiders to sign a striker who has proved himself in the Premier League. They should target a striker who’d be able to deliver 15+ goals per season if they are to compete strongly on their return.
To that end, here are three Premier League strikers who Newcastle should look to target ahead of the upcoming season:
The AFC Bournemouth striker has become a hot property all of a sudden with a series of stellar performances since the turn of the year.
The 25-year old King has netted a highly impressive 16 goals for the Cherries this season and has shown that he can be a huge threat to the opposition defence with his pace and directness. The fact that he has been scoring freely against the big teams as well shows his pedigree for the bigger occasions. With interest coming from other Premier League clubs as well, it might be a little difficult for Newcastle to close the deal. But if they manage to sign him, he will be an excellent addition.
The 30-year old was in sensational form for Leicester City in the 2015-16 season, leading them to a surprise Premier League title triumph but seems to have faded off this time around. However, he has shown the same lethal touch in front of goal in recent weeks and has played a big part in taking the Foxes from the threat of relegation to a mid-table finish.
Vardy has managed 12 goals in the Premier League this season and has also set up 6 for the Foxes. Having proven himself in the top division for three years now, the England international will be a great signing if Newcastle manage to pull it off.
Age is just a number – the old adage is proven true by the performances of the 34-year old Jermain Defoe. The former Tottenham Hotspur man has been scoring goals at an excellent rate for Newcastle’s local rivals Sunderland in the past two seasons, but could not save the Black Cats from relegation.
Defoe, this season, has managed 15 strikes in the league from 37 games and despite his age, isn’t looking like he’s slowing down. With Sunderland already relegated, he could be on the move in the summer.
Last month, The Sun reported that Newcastle had shown interest in the Englishman who just made a return to the England national team. He might not be a long-term signing, but with his experience and goal-scoring record, he will be a great option to have in the ranks as Newcastle look to establish themselves back in the Premier League.