Tuesday the 1st of January 2013. I wake with a splitting headache from last night’s New Years Eve antics and stumble to my computer to see if there’s any news on the Newcastle United transfer front. Yes; I really am that engrossed with the comings and goings at St James’ Park that I constantly feel the need to search for updates.
There is no real significant news on the Demba Ba front, as I peruse through news articles, and for me, no news is good news. Although this whole period of limbo is really beginning to make me sweat, it still gives me hope that he may end up putting pen to paper on a new contract here with Newcastle. But is it really the be all and end all if he were to depart?
Some of the reasons why I hope Ba decides to stay include his monstrous ability to bag goals and create chances out of nothing. He’s hungry, and fierce, and defences up and down the land must fear him when they see his name on the team sheet. Ba seems to be able to bag a goal from just about any situation, whether it is near post tap- ins, or mesmerising free-kick’s he’s always good for a goal or two.
I fear that if Ba decides to leave the club this could pave the way for other established first team players to follow suit, and soon the French revolution that we’ve been building on Tyneside may be just a memory. Who’s to say that with Demba gone, Hatem Ben Arfa won’t leave in the summer along with the likes of Marvoux or Cabaye. There is already speculation of Marvoux being part of an exchange deal with Marseille if we’re to sign their centre-forward Loic Remy.
Thankfully even if we do have to say goodbye to our forward man, who loves his syrup, at least the arrival of Mathieu Debuchy should go a long way to securing the future of our French outfit. With Debuchy in the side we’ll then have three French internationals in our side, something which can only be a proud statement to boast.
Lured to St James’ by the promise of playing alongside his Senegalese strike partner, Papiss Cisse may also be disheartened to see Ba exit the club. However it could spell a revival in Cisse form and if he regains anything like the form he finished off the campaign with last season, that’ll go a long way to filling Demba’s shoes.
There are some good reasons to let Ba go, and these include the fact he still has his release clause imbedded in his contract. This is never a positive thing and will always fill fans with uncertainty every time the transfer window opens.
Another great reason to sell Ba, has to do with the fee we paid to get him in a Black and White shirt; nothing. Signing him as a free transfer after Stoke turned him down and then selling him on for profit is never a bad thing, and with the money raised we could invest it back into the club and strengthen our defence even further.
Ba is 28yrs old in May and isn’t getting any younger, who knows when his knee’s (which have always been a concern for him as a player) will give way again, and can we afford to keep a high risk player on the wage bill? Touch wood, so far he’s been pretty much injury free, but it’d be just Newcastle’s luck to see him pen a new deal and then get himself seriously injured; think back to the Michael Owen days.
It concerns me though, the lack of cover in the strike department if we were to lose Demba Ba. We’d then only have two recognised, experienced strikers to call upon, and if one of those got injured? It doesn’t really bare thinking about.
My overall assessment is that if Ba wants to leave then we should let him go. Why try and keep players whose thinking of a move elsewhere. Cash in on what was a free transfer, and eliminate the risk factor attached with him. Use the money to strengthen the defence and also splash out on a replacement to play alongside, or just behind Cisse, i.e. the above mentioned Loic Remy.
I’d be sad to see Demba Ba go as I love watching him play and his goals have been a fantastic help this season, but if his time is now, then I won’t be too beat up about it. I just hope it’s dealt with quickly so we don’t have the painstaking agony of waiting a whole month for the saga to unfold!
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Happy New Year to you all.