Newcastle United's reported interest in Burnley's Ashley Barnes epitomises lack of ambition

Rafael Benitez, the Newcastle United manager looks on during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Newcastle United at John Smith's Stadium on August 20, 2017 in...

Clarets' Ashley Barnes is a good, hard-working centre-forward - but not one that will fire Newcastle United up the Premier League table.

Sean Dyche manager of Burnley gestures during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Burnley at Stamford Bridge on August 12, 2017 in London, England.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche appears to have identified the centre-forward position as the main area in need of strengthening before next week’s transfer deadline.

Understandable really, considering that the three Premier League teams who scored fewer goals than The Clarets last season were all relegated. Therefore, Burnley will be hoping a new strike force of Majeed Waris and Chris Wood will go some way to making them more feared up front.

According to The Mail, The Clarets are closing in on a £9 million deal for Lorient’s Ghanaian international striker Waris (below) just a few days after landing Wood from Leeds United in a club-record £15 million swoop.

Lorient's Ghanaian forward Abdul Waris (L) vies with Troyes' French defender Johan Obiang during the French L1-2 play-off football match between Lorient and Troyes on May 28, 2017 at the...

However, The Mirror (live blog, 10.14 am) adds that long-serving striker Ashley Barnes is likely to be an occupation hazard of Burnley’s big-money revamp. Waris’ arrival could push Barnes, who joined in 2014 from Brighton, down to fourth in the pecking order, behind the in-form Sam Vokes too.

Yet, there is no shortage of interest with the report adding that Newcastle United, Middlesbrough and Huddersfield Town may make a move with Burnley willing to listen to offers.

Ashley Barnes of Burnley celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Burnley at Selhurst Park on April 29, 2017 in London, England.

And Newcastle’s reported interest may only add to the accusation that The Magpies are lacking ambition in their return to the Premier League. Manager Rafael Benitez has made clear that a new goalscorer is a must but, so far, only Joselu has arrived from Stoke City.

Wrong man?

The Spaniard only scored four league goals for The Potters. And two defeats out of two to Tottenham and Huddersfield, without finding the back of the net in each, suggests Newcastle are in for a season of struggle without major reinforcements.

However, it’s difficult to imagine Barnes making Newcastle’s attack any more fearsome. Though a hard-working player and a useful targetman, the one-time Austria Under-20 international scored just 11 goals in 63 top flight outings.

Newcastle need a proven, prolific Premier League centre-forward and Barnes, for all his talents, doesn’t fit the bill.

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