Chris Sutton has told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Monday Night Club that he will be “surprised” if Newcastle complete a deal to sign Hugo Ekitike. Reports claim that Newcastle are in ‘advanced talks’ to sign the Stade Reims striker.
Ekitike, 19, has emerged as an option for Newcastle this month. The Toon are desperate to sign a striker before Saturday afternoon’s relegation six-pointer against Watford. Callum Wilson remains on the sidelines, injured.
Breaking into the senior Reims side this season after a brief loan in Denmark last term, France Under-21 star Ekitike has scored eight goals in 17 Ligue 1 matches this term. He has also laid on three assists.
90Min report that Newcastle are in ‘advanced talks’ to sign Ekitike with a fee of £30million on the table. Fabrizio Romano says West Ham are also keen. Asked about a move, Sutton explains why he would be surprised.
“You talk about this French guy [Ekitike] at Reims. Newcastle don’t have time to sort of, blood him and develop him and hope he comes good. They have to be absolutely bang on. I’d be surprised if that happens,” Sutton said.
Sutton on Ekitike: Newcastle could do worse than signing Reims ace
Yes, it seems a massive risk to bring in a 19-year-old for a huge fee of £30million, unproven in the Premier League, and hope he can fire them out of the mire. But Ekitike does make sense, and here is why.
Wilson turns 30 in February. He is up there when it comes to Newcastle’s best players, but he is injury prone. Newcastle need a player that is likely to be happy playing second fiddle, and covering Wilson when injured.
At 19, Ekitike would surely be happy to do so. He would get plenty of game time, even if Eddie Howe reverts to a two-man striker system. But he is worth the cash, because he will eventually overtake Wilson.