Newcastle United have moved to fill the gap left by the 22 year old striker Andy Carroll, who departed Tyneside for Merseyside last month, by signing the 34 year old former Finland striker Shefki Kuqi.
Kuqi has been without a club since his contract with Championship side Swansea City was terminated by mutual consent last month. Prior to this Kuqi, who retired from international football last year following seven goals in 62 matches, had been on loan at Derby County for much of this season having been deemed surplus to requirements by Swans’ manager Brendan Rodgers.
As well as losing Carroll for £35 million on the transfer window’s deadline day, Newcastle are also currently without Shola Ameobi who has a cheek bone injury, while Leon Best, Peter Lovenkrands, and Nile Ranger have failed to sparkle so far this season, scoring just ten goals in the Premier League between them this season.
Toon manager Alan Pardew has said that “Shefki will provide us with something different,” however it would appear that Kuqi offers little different than the club already have. A tall, strong centre-forward, Kuqi looks to drop back and involve himself in play further down the pitch, before looking to get back into the box.
At 34 his best days are surely behind him; the striker has scored twice during his 12 match loan spell at Derby, while before that he had failed to score for the Swans in the Championship since last season, his two goals this season for the Welsh club coming in the League Cup.
Having also played for Ipswich, Blackburn Rovers, Crystal Palace, and Fulham Kuqi does arrive at St James’ Park will a great deal of English league football experience, and as Newcastle look to steady the ship after the departure of Carroll and maintain their good run of form that has seen them reach tenth place in the Premier League so far this season, this could be vital. However, with £35 million burning the pockets of Pardew and Mike Ashley, and at the age of 34, the striker is likely to find himself searching for yet another club come next season.