Paris St Germain’s Turkish starlet Mevlut Erding has been heavily linked with a move to Newcastle United. But is he worth all the fuss?
Back in 2006 when Alan Pardew and Arsene Wenger squared up on the touchline nobody suggested it was anything other than two proud professional men getting carried away. If the same thing happens on the opening weekend of the 2011/2012 Premier League season and a provocative character opines there was a hidden agenda to Pardew’s bust up he can say with total confidence “I’m not racist, some of my best players are French”.
Especially after his latest recruitment drive. Newcastle have popped over the channel a couple of times already this summer as they look to make a dent in the £35 million that’s been burning a whole in their pocket since January to fill the goals shaped whole left by the departure of Andy Carroll. French midfielders Yohan Cabaye and Sylvain Marveaux have already joined the Magpies and today they’ll find out if they’ve been successful in luring Paris St Germaine’s French based Turkish international striker Mevlut Erding.
Newcastle has reportedly been tracking the 24 year old for over a year and he’s been watched several times going back to when Chris Houghton was in charge. Until now Erding has been keen to continue his development in Paris but with the arrival of former Newcastle target Kevin Gameiro limiting Mevlut’s opportunities at PSG Newcastle are as likely as ever to land their man.
But is he worth the wait?
The good news is he has all the attributes you want in a centre forward. He’s quick with the sort of pace over short distances that makes the difference between a blocked shot and goal. He also has speed of thought to go with his swiftness of foot. The lad is adept at running off the last defender. You can expect him to make himself available for his new quick-witted French teammates to supplying the bullets in dangerous positions.
If Newcastle can secure the signature of a player considered one of the hottest properties to come out of Turkey they could have a real star on their hands.
Allied to his sprinters body and football brain are his skills. He’s a fleet footed so and so who’s first touch around the area often gives him a chance to have a second. It sounds obvious but if you watch his goals most of the work is done with the way he makes space with that initial touch. He’ll link well with intelligent players. Mevlut has another string to his bow that is essential for playing up top in the Premier League, decent aerial ability. You can’t see Pardew using him as a battering ram but he scores headed goals and is a threat at set pieces.
Perhaps the thing that will make him most attractive to Newcastle and their fans is his love of scoring goals. Again, I know it sounds silly. To say a striker loves scoring goals is like saying (name removed for legal reasons) loves super injunctions. It’s a given, but there is something about certain forwards that sets them apart. With Erding it’s the types of goals he scores, the type of goals that Arsene Wenger bought Franny Jeffers to score in 2001. Getting decisive toe ends to crosses, bundling in goalmouth scrambles, cool finishes after being sent clear, proper predators goals.
If Newcastle can secure the signature of a player considered one of the hottest properties to come out of Turkey they could have a real star on their hands. He’s showed he’s capable of being prolific scoring a goal every other game in his first season with PSG and being his teams top scorer in three of the last four seasons. And in terms of what he’d bring to the Toon he’s an improvement on what they already have. Developmentally he’s ahead of Leon Best and Nile Ranger and would be on everyone’s team sheet ahead of Peter Lovenkrands and Shola Ameobi.
Mevlut’s potential partnership with Demba Ba could be explosive. His attributes would make him a perfect foil for the Sengalese frontman. His style and poise added to Ba’s raw athleticism will give any team problems. In the era of the lone front man these two have a chance to be one of the Premier League’s leading partnerships. It’s all speculation but in the summer when you can only evaluate a player by their Championship Manager potential things are looking up for the Toon. With a bit of luck he’ll be to Newcastle United what Rachel Riley is to Countdown, the one who made everyone forget about Caroll.
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