Nottingham Forest looked to have nabbed an excellent replacement for departed talisman Britt Assombalonga this summer.
Daryl Murphy might have been seen as something of an affordable stop-gap solution but the Republic of Ireland international is a proven Championship striker who won the Golden Boot with Ipswich Town as recently as 2014/15. And just last season, Murphy’s impressive contributions helped Newcastle United to the Championship title.
But while the 34-year-old started brightly at Forest, his form has tailed off dramatically in the last few weeks. Murphy is now in the midst of a dismal run of one goal in ten games – and was omitted from the matchday squad as Forest lost 3-0 at home to Sheffield Wednesday on Boxing Day.
In fact, his performances have been so poor that manager Mark Warburton put his faith in the youthful duo of Tyler Walker and Ben Brereton rather than his experienced hitman.
So with Newcastle hardly banging in the goals in the top flight, manager Rafa Benitez still will not be looking back with hindsight and wondering whether or not he should have kept Murphy on Tyneside.
The Magpies are crying out for a new centre-forward in January with Joselu ineffective, Dwight Gayle inconsistent and Aleksandar Mitrovic, well, let’s say ‘erratic’.
But it seems Newcastle made the right decision with Murphy. Using him as an effective back-up in their Championship winning season, they made him available almost immediately after promotion as the club did not feel he could cut it in the top flight.
On current form, however, Murphy isn’t even managing to stand out in the league below.