Newcastle are trying to solve their scoring problems yet again with the signing of Alexandre Lacazette.
Reports in France suggest that the Geordies have finally got sick of being mediocre this season and have launched a £19 million bid for the next big French star.
Is he worth the cash, though? Or are the Geordies reverting to type and buying the new hot thing on the market with no thought as to whether he’ll fit in?
Statistics say Lacazette is worth it, as he can undoubtedly score goals. The 24-year-old has bagged 54 goals for Lyon at an average of one goal every three games.
God knows the Geordies need help in front of goal. They’ve scored only 19 goals all season and sit in 18th position, with even 19th-placed Sunderland having scored more. Only Swansea and Aston Villa have scored fewer, and Villa don’t count.
To be fair to Steve McClaren, a lot of under-performing players are ones he didn’t buy. Their top scorer this season is attacking midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum.
But Lacazette, according to statistics bible WhoScored, Lacazette shoots a lot before he scores. He needs 2.3 shots for every goal, compared for instance to Wijnaldum’s 1.7.
He’s an archetype of the “At least he’s there to miss them” striker like former Geordie legend Andy Cole, but that could be problem for a striker used to more time on the ball.
Lacazette has been on the radar of the Premiership elite for a while, but it seems Newcastle United have jumped the queue. For all their problems under Mike Ashley, they do have a decent record of finding French talent thanks to chief scout Graham Carr (famously, Alan Carr’s dad.)
The question remains whether Lacazette would fancy playing for a relagation-dogged team. He won’t get 20 goals a season, and the even more pressing need surely for the Geordies is how rubbish they are at the back.
The likeliest scenario is for Lacazette to hold tight and see if the Magpies stay up. If Lacazette bides his time, he could seal a move to a club higher up the table. Newcastle need Lacazette more than he needs them.
Worth the money? 6/10
Chances of Lacazette joining Newcastle? 4/10
Loaded sports writer Pearse Corcoran has covered news, sport and entertainment for several national newspapers and radio stations in Ireland. Follow him on Twitter at @PearseCorcoran