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According to reports from the Express, Newcastle United are close to completing the sixth transfer of the summer, as they are on the verge of signing Spanish forward Joselu from fellow Premier League club Stoke City. The report claims that the Magpies have agreed a £7million move for the 27-year old after having an initial bid rejected. Now, a move is close to completion, subject to a medical.
Newcastle endured a difficult start to life back in the Premier League, as they were handed a 2-0 defeat in their opening fixture on Sunday, by Tottenham Hotspur at the St. James’ Park. The Magpies looked quite toothless going up against the North Londoners over the weekend and the game just went on to highlight that manager Rafael Benitez was right in asking for more players to come in before the window closes.
The club seem to have responded to the gaffer’s demands with the imminent signing of Joselu. But will he be a good signing for the Tyneside outfit?
A product of the Celta Vigo academy, he was signed by Real Madrid for their reserve team in 2009 and was loaned back to Celta for a year. In his two years with Real Madrid Castilla team between 2010-12, the striker notched up 40 goals in 72 games and was handed a couple of appearances for the senior team by then-Madrid manager Jose Mourinho. Joselu scored in both the games.
He moved to Germany in search of first-team opportunities in 2013 but Joselu’s goal-scoring exploits in the Bundesliga, during his days with Hoffenheim, Eintracht Frankfurt (loan) and Hannover weren’t really that prolific, as he managed just 22 strikes in 79 league games at a rate of one goal every 260 minutes.
The 27-year old German-born Spaniard joined Stoke City in the summer of 2015 from Hannover, but has failed to hit the ground running in England. In his first season with the Potters, Joselu managed just 4 goals and 2 assists in 22 Premier League outings and could never really convince manager Mark Hughes of his abilities.
As a result, he was loaned out to La Liga side Deportivo La Coruna last season, where again, he failed to set the stage alight. The former Spain U-21 international bagged just 6 goals and registered a sole assist in 24 games all competitions in the 2016/17 season, although he was blighted by injury problems at the start and towards the end of the season. He did show some form in the Potters’ pre-season this summer, scoring 4 times in two games against Bolton Wanderers and St. Pauli late in July.
The former Real Madrid man has struggled to adapt in England, but that also has plenty to do with Hughes’ mismanagement of the player. He is strong physically and technically adept as well. He might have not been able to make an impact with Stoke, but his innate abilities are there for everyone to see.
The deal will definitely represent a big gamble for Newcastle, as Joselu hasn’t been really prolific in front of goal in the past couple of years. But with a Spanish manager at the helm in Rafa Benitez, he could find his feet better and a shot of confidence in the arm from the gaffer could prove to be exactly what he needs to get going. The gamble could end up paying great dividends for Newcastle.