Les Ferdinand knows a thing or two about scoring goals in the black and white of Newcastle United, and he’s tipped new Magpies striker Loic Remy to follow in his footsteps.
The former Toon forward netted 50 goals in 88 appearances during his time at St. James’ Park in the mid-1990s and is convinced the club’s latest French recruit can emulate his achievements.
Remy arrived on Tyneside at the beginning of August, but he has been restricted to one brief cameo against Fulham thanks to a niggling calf injury.
The former Marseille man is on a season-long loan from Championship side Queens Park Rangers and is hoping to make a big impression on the Geordie fans once he’s fully fit.
And after his promising bow from the bench two weeks ago, where he claimed an assist for Hatem Ben Arfa’s winner, Ferdinand expects the 26-year-old to start making an impact.
“Remy is a goalscorer,” he said, “and he took the Premier League by storm last season.
“He played in a struggling side at Queens Park Rangers and still scored goals.
“We’ve seen what he’s capable of and he’s a top centre-forward.
“You’re only as good as the people that feed you, and if he gets the ammunition then he’ll score goals.
“Remy will get into the side and start playing on a regular basis, and once he starts firing he’ll be hard to stop.”
Despite a summer of upheaval at his old club, Ferdinand believes Alan Pardew has a squad capable of making waves in the top flight, providing injuries and suspensions don’t hinder their progress.
And according to the 46-year-old, once the treatment room is empty, United fans can expect to see a marked improvement from the team that flirted dangerously with relegation last term.
“Once they get their strongest side playing week in, week out, Newcastle will be fine,” said Ferdinand, who is now a coach at Tottenham Hotspur, another of his former clubs.
“They’ve had a tough start to the season, but they’ve had injuries as well, so they’ve got some key players coming back to full fitness.”
“Every manager in the world will tell you that he wants to field his strongest XI when they’re available, and Alan Pardew is no different. I know managers rotate now but that’s difficult if you’ve got a small squad.
“But there is genuine talent in this Newcastle squad, and players like Papiss Cissé, Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa and now Loic Remy have a lot of quality.
“It’s all about getting a consistent run of games from players like that and once that happens, I think Newcastle will do well.”
All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.