Since last week the reason for Newcastle’s interest in Finish striker Shefki Kuqi became apparent. Today, the main question on the fans lips are will this 34 year old Fin make a difference and fill the £35 million gap left by former Ton hero Andy Carroll.
Kuqi is known for his power in the lower leagues of England. He has spent the last ten years playing in England for clubs such as Swansea and Sheffield Wednesday. However, Kuqi has only ever played one season in the English top flight, all of whom are known for their speed and power. At least Kuqi has one of those assets, the power, but being 34, gives the stereotypical image that he will not be lighting up the leagues, such as Hernandez, Rooney and Torres.
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew stated that Kuqi will give a strong physical presence from the bench, but a player from the bench will not give the same presence as a player in the starting eleven. In contrast, although Kuqi is 34, Drogba is a player also in his thirties and still a prominent force in the league.
Kuqi’s recent clubs have all been in the Championship, but there is there is a big difference in pace and ability from the Premier League. Also Kuqi was recently released from championship club Swansea, and so the question has to be that if he was released from a championship club, will he be worth his weight in the Premiership? However, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is an experienced and respected manager and so must be able to spot talent and possible additions to his squad when he sees it.
Kuqi’s experience will certainly help improve young Toon players like Ranger. However, it seems doubtful that he will replace the large gap left by Andy Carroll, as he was an academy product and a natural crowd favourite. However, his age does seem to show that his speed and awareness may not be up to the standard of the Premiership, but his experience may also allow him to know where to be at the right time on the pitch.