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Newcastle United are set to make more additions to their strike force as reports from the Daily Star claim that they are interested in signing striker Vidar Orn Kjartansson from Maccabi Tel Aviv.
The report states that the Magpies were watching the Icelandic striker in Tel Aviv’s Europa League encounter against Austian side Rheindorf Altach last week, in which he scored the only goal of the game. They are set to make a move after being impressed with what they saw.
Here we bring you the lowdown on Kjartansson and what he will be offering Newcastle, if signed.
Born in Selfoss, Iceland, on 11 March 1990, Kjartansson started off with local club Selfoss, and broke into the senior team at a tender age of 16. Following his impressive exploits with the club, he earned a move to the Icelandic top-flight side IBV three years later.
Things did not go as per plans for the striker with his new club, due to which he returned back to Selfoss a year later. On his return, he enjoyed a fruitful two-year spell in which he managed 26 goals in 55 games, which earned him a move to homeland club Fylkir in 2013. After another successful spell with his new club where he managed 21 goals in 30 games, Kjartansson was signed up by Norwegian side Valerenga in January 2014.
The striker continued to enhance his reputation in Norway, scoring 31 goals in 33 appearances for Valerenga, finishing as the top-scorer in the Norwegian Tippeligaen. His exploits did not go unnoticed, as in 2015, he was signed by Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning. He spent a year in the far east, scoring 13 goals in 35 games, helping the club to the Chinese FA Cup win.
In January 2016, Kjartansson was signed by Swedish side Malmo, where he scored 17 times in 26 games, before joining Maccabi Tel Aviv in August later that year. He netted an impressive 24 goals in 42 games for the Israeli outfit in his first season, and has started the 2017/18 campaign strongly as well, scoring 4 times in Tel Aviv’s UEFA Europa League qualifying campaign.
Having represented the Iceland national team at the U-17 and the U-19 levels, the 27-year old made his senior debut at the international level in May 2014. Since then, he has played on 14 occasions for the Icelanders, scoring just once.
An out and out old-fashioned centre-forward, Kjartansson is a top-class finisher and possesses the necessary predatory instincts needed in front of goal. Standing close to 6ft 2in, the 27-year old is also a force to be reckoned with in the air, and is a major nuisance to the opposition defenders while dealing with set-piece situations.
He possesses a decent turn of pace and can run with the ball at his feet. He also has high levels of energy and stamina, which allows him to keep the intensity high throughout the course of the game, which in turn makes him a great threat on the counter. However, he does tend to avoid doing the defensive duties when his team are not in possession.
Newcastle United have brought in Joselu in the summer to add to their strike force, but manager Rafael Benitez is reportedly looking to add more numbers, especially with reports of Dwight Gayle moving away from the club doing the rounds.
Kjartansson has had a very prolific goal-scoring record throughout his career and has shown all the traits of being a good fit for the Magpies. His lack of experience in a top league will be a reason for concern, but at £8million, he represents a risk worth taking, because if the Icelandic international manages to translate his goal-scoring form to the Premier League, it will prove to be a great addition for the club.