Newcastle United scored more than one goal in a game for only the third time in the Premier League this season but that was still not enough to secure an impressive victory on the South Coast.
Isaac Hayden and Ayoze Perez twice had The Magpies in front away to Southampton but, thanks to a clumsy foul by Florian Lejeune on Shane Long in the hosts’ penalty area, Manolo Gabbiadini ensured the game ended in a 2-2 draw.
As such, Newcastle are sitting in a hugely commendable ninth place with almost a quarter of the season gone. If they want to maintain this early momentum, however, more goals is a must.
Dwight Gayle appears to have lost the trust of manager Rafael Benitez despite netting 23 times in the Championship last season, Joselu will be lucky to hit double figures while Aleksandar Mitrovic (below), arguably Newcastle’s most gifted striker, was left out of the matchday squad against Southampton.
Tyneside or Merseyside?
The Shields Gazette reported last week that Benitez wants attacking reinforcements in January and the one-time England international, who hasn’t played a league game in a year-and-a-half due to a serious knee injury, had emerged as a genuine target.
Unsurprisingly, however, Newcastle are not the only club interested in a striker who boasted an impressive goalscoring record at Burnley. TEAMtalk claims that Southampton, Crystal Palace, Watford and, interestingly, Everton are also in the mix.
No player has transferred from Liverpool to Everton since Gary Ablett in 1992 but Ings could be the answer to The Toffees’ prayers. Having scored just five Premier League goals since losing Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United, a striker is a must and Ings’ availability could play into their hands.
Newcastle, then, face a real challenge – and it’s a very realistic possibility that Benitez could miss out on another top target.