Loic Remy's Latest Injury Triggers a Familiar Question at Newcastle

Dan SheridanContributor IMarch 13, 2014

Loic Remy is Newcastle's top scorer this term
Loic Remy is Newcastle's top scorer this termSang Tan/Associated Press

As is often the case at Newcastle United, when the dust settles on one drama, another emerges to take its place.

And while talk has surrounded off-field matters of late—thanks to manager Alan Pardew’s antics at Hull City—the latest issue is one that has needed addressing for months.

Thursday brought news that on-loan striker and top scorer Loic Remy could be missing for a minimum of three games, as reported by Anthony Marshall on the club’s official website

And once again, Magpies fans are left to ask a familiar question: Who will score the goals in his absence?

Toon followers won’t need reminding of this, but aside from Remy’s 13 top-flight strikes, the club’s other recognised forwards have just one Premier League goal between them this term.

And in light of the Frenchman’s latest injury, which was picked up whilst on international duty last week, a common concern amongst the Toon faithful has surfaced once more.

In the short term, the spotlight will fall on another on-loan frontman—namely Dutchman Luuk De Jong—as well as misfiring duo Shola Ameobi and Papiss Cisse.

Wide midfielder Yoan Gouffran, who has seven goals to his name this season, could be utilised in a more central role, while United’s coaching staff will also look to Moussa Sissoko to pick up the baton.

Luuk De Jong is yet to get off the mark for the Magpies
Luuk De Jong is yet to get off the mark for the MagpiesScott Heppell/Associated Press

With 10 matches remaining and a top-half finish practically guaranteed at St. James’ Park, such concerns could have come at a far more pivotal point than mid-March.

Likewise, the fixture list could have been more cruel, but next up for Newcastle is a trip to bottom-of-the-table Fulham, followed by successive home games against Crystal Palace and Everton.

In truth, losing Remy for a handful of fixtures at this stage is not the be all and end all. Nor will it make or break the Magpies’ current campaign.

Beyond that, however, the situation engulfing the Toon’s goalscoring department needs urgent attention.

With both Remy and De Jong set to return to Queens Park Rangers and Borussia Monchengladbach respectively in May, their roster of strikers will be immediately depleted.

Add to that the likely exits of Ameobi, who is out of contract in June, and Cisse, who has seemingly lost all confidence in front of goal and subsequently that of his manager, and their difficulties escalate.

Under the hapless guidance of former director of football Joe Kinnear, the club wasted two transfer windows and has not made a permanent cash signing in more than a year.

And while United are expected to break that cycle sooner rather than later this summer, the need for reinforcements up front could not be clearer.

Shola Ameobi (left) and Papiss Cisse are both expected to leave Newcastle this summer
Shola Ameobi (left) and Papiss Cisse are both expected to leave Newcastle this summerStu Forster/Getty Images

Whether De Jong, who is yet to get off the mark in a black-and-white shirt, is deemed good enough to bring in on a full-time contract remains to be seen.

Likewise, doubts surround the validity of a concrete offer for Remy, who spoke of a move to a "European top-five club" in a recent interview with France Football, via Patrick Haond from Sky Sports.

Where the duo end up will have a huge bearing on the task facing Newcastle’s hierarchy during the close season, but the need to fill the club’s famous No. 9 shirt—and then some—will be greater than ever.