Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew says his squad needs to buy another player like Cheick Tiote in the summer transfer window.
The Ivory Coast midfielder cost only 3.5 million pounds – 10 percent of the transfer fee received from the sale of forward Andy Carroll to Liverpool in January – and has had a terrific first season in English football.
Tiote will again look to weave his magic in Saturday’s visit to Anfield and Carroll’s new club.
“It will not be easy to find another player like Cheick for the sort of fee we paid. But there are more of them out there. The only problem is a lot of them are selling for a lot more money than we paid for Cheick,” Pardew said.
“It’s difficult, but it’s something that our chief scout Graham Carr, myself and my scouting team are all on top of.”
“Getting players over the line, whether they are players you have at the club already or new players, is one of the most difficult parts of the game. That includes convincing players that the future here is bright, which I think it is.”
“We have got a good foundation to go forward now, so attracting players shouldn’t be a problem and hopefully the financial side of it, we can find.”
“We are competing against Champions League teams and foreign teams – it is always difficult.”
“Deals are not going to be done quickly, but hopefully they will be done.”
“For sure, our pool of strikers needs boosting, there’s no doubt about that, and that will be high on the agenda.”
Carroll may have chosen to join Saturday’s opponents but Pardew insisted Newcastle are able to mix it with the biggest clubs in the Premier League.
And he suspected their former forward would not be playing a part in Sunday’s Anfield showdown.
“I don’t think he will play, I think he is injured,” he said.
“I don’t think Liverpool want to say that, but I think he is, and we are not expecting him to play.”
“We want to compete with them. It’s a good showcase for my players to show that they should be here next year competing against the likes of Liverpool and the Manchester United.”
Newcastle will be without goalkeeper Steve Harper (knee), midfielders Hatem Ben Arfa (broken leg) and Kazenga Lua Lua (broken leg), plus forwards Alan Smith and Leon Best (both ankle).
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