BBC Sport is now reporting that journeyman striker Shefki Kuqi is on Tyneside to complete a medical examination and sign with Newcastle United on a free transfer. Kuqi, who has played for numerous English clubs, was most recently with Swansea AFC. He terminated his contract last month.
The sale of Andy Carroll followed closely by a collarbone fracture for Shola Ameobi has left Alan Pardew with a very inexperienced and shallow striker core, leading him to search for players available on a free transfer. The club was reported to be interested in 29 year-old Brazilian striker Ewerthon, but he turned down the most recent offer, ostensibly because the two sides could not agree on financial terms. (Graeme Bailey, Sky Sports)
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The signing of Kuqi will likely initially underwhelm the Toon Army due to his age and lack of prolific scoring record. At this point, though, I would have to consider any signing of a forward a victory (however small) as a warm body is surely preferable to a stack of cash.
I'm not going to pretend that Shefki Kuqi moves the needle very much for me, but he is pretty strong and has shown proficiency through the air. At the very least, he provides depth. At the most, he serves as a mentor for the youngsters and scores a few goals to keep the team afloat until Ameobi comes back. It's a low-risk, medium-reward move, and that's something I can generally get on board with.