Meet the Ligue 1 hotshot Newcastle should gamble on

Montpellier

Lucas Barrios previously came close to a Premier League move after impressing at Borussia Dortmund and should be given a second chance.

Newcastle United have long been linked with a move for Alexandre Lacazette (per the Express) but with the striker firing Lyon to the top of Ligue 1 while the Toon toil in the Premier League, is it time for the Magpies to re-evaluate their transfer targets?

The 23-year-old is likely to seek a move to a Champions League-chasing team come the summer and the Tynesiders do not fit the bill.

But while the Lyon forward may be an unrealistic target for the Toon, another fellow Ligue 1 hotshot could represent an affordable and effective alternative.

There was a time when Montpellier striker Lucas Barrios was being linked with a move to some of the Premier League’s very best.

Brought to Borussia Dortmund from Colo-Colo by Jurgen Klopp back in July 2009, Barrios may have been slow off the mark in Germany but he finished his debut season in Europe with something of a flourish.

A total of 19 goals in 33 games was enough to see the Paraguayan named Bundesliga top scorer for 2010.

Better was to come the following season with a tally of 16 goals helping BVB secure the title in some style.

The following 2011-12 campaign saw Barrios fall out of favour under Klopp though, with the German manager opting to instead start Robert Lewandowski.

With the Pole’s form keeping the South American out of the team, the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea were linked with moves for the forward according to Goal.com.

Neither would land the striker, however, with Barrios opting to instead seal a big-money switch to China with Guangzhou Evergrande - one he must surely regret now.

After largely impressing but failing to settle with 12 goals and a further five assists during his time at the club, Barrios was on the move again, this time signing for Russian side Spartak Moscow in another mega deal.

The forward appeared uneasy in his new surrounds, though, and the goals seemed to dry up.

That’s all changed this season, however, with Barrios back in the major leagues of Europe with Montpellier in France.

In 21 appearances for the unfashionable French outfit, the Paraguayan has scored 10 goals and provided a further three assists.

A confident finisher who is also known for his excellent passing distribution and defensive work, the 30-year-old forward is currently on loan with the Ligue 1 outfit.

All of which makes him a viable target for a Newcastle side seeking hard-working and experienced goalscorers to provide back-up and competition to the likes of Papiss Cisse.

Barrios is also in the midst of a hot streak in France too, with eight goals in his last seven outings for Montpellier.

Valued at around £1.76 million according to Transfermarkt, the South American may not be a long-term solution to Newcastle’s current woes, but he represents the kind of inexpensive, intelligent signing the club needs to be making to secure it’s Premier League status for the next few years.

He could also offer advice and guidance to some of the club's younger stars, having played football across the globe.

The likes of Ayoze Perez and Rolando Aarons may represent the future of the club, but for now it’s time to focus on the present.

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