Can Remy replace Ba at Newcastle?

St James Park

Queen’s Park Ranger’s January signing Loic Remy is expected to pass a medical in order to complete a season-long loan move to Newcastle. The big question, however, is whether Remy can replace the popular Demba Ba, now at Chelsea.

Remy, the 26-year-old former Marseille man, managed just 6 goals in his debut season in the Premier League – a far cry from his 12 goals and 6 assists in Ligue 1 the previous term, and his addition failed to galvanize Harry Redknapp’s QPR side to avoid relegation to the Championship.

Meanwhile, up at St James’ Park, Alan Pardew’s Magpies struggled heavily with injuries last season, and a draining Europa League campaign saw them narrowly escape relegation themselves. Newcastle placed 16th, and Pardew is under pressure to improve on that this season, but so far has yet to bring in any real game-changers to bolster his squad.

Prior to his departure, Demba Ba had formed a formidable force up front with Papiss Cisse. and it's clear that Newcastle struggled without Ba, failing to build on the 5th place Premier League finish of 2011 / 12.

Undoubtedly injuries played a pivotal role in Newcastle's disappointing and frustrating season last term, but the departure of Ba also contributed to their struggles – could the arrival of Remy boost them back up the league table ?

With QPR, Remy’s ability to make a decisive impact was reduced by the inherent problems that were already taking their toll over at Loftus Road, but there’s no doubting his ability and I imagine he could be a key component to Newcastle’s new season.

Technically, Remy’s a real threat going forward, and I expect he could combine with Cisse to devastating effect. With Yohan Cabaye feeding him from midfield, along with Jonas Gutierrez and Hatem Ben Arfa and Sylvain Marveaux, Pardew could have a genuinely strong attacking force this term.

If key players can keep fit, this season should be a much better one for the Toon.

image: © StartAgain

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