Newcastle United has confirmed the transfer acquisition of striker Emmanuel Riviere from Monaco. The team announced the move on Twitter:
Sky Sports News reported Riviere passed all of his medical testing to complete the switch:
Emmanuel Riviere passes medical at Newcastle - more details on #SSN— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) July 16, 2014
The 24-year-old forward scored 10 goals and added a pair of assists in 30 Ligue 1 appearances for Monaco last season. He didn't have a defined role, splitting time between the starting lineup and serving as an attacking super sub.
ESPN's Julien Laurens isn't so sure about the deal:
After Cabella,Emmanuel Riviere (Monaco) will sign for Newcastle. Fee 6.5 million pounds. Too much for an average striker.Not convinced #nufc— Julien Laurens (@LaurensJulien) July 15, 2014
Even though most players tend to thrive when given an exact role to fill, the changing circumstances didn't seem to impact Riviere. Ben McAleer of WhoScored.com points out his conversion rate will make him the most efficient striker on the club's roster based on last campaign's stats:
Emmanuel Rivière's conversion rate (19.6%) in Ligue 1 was better than every Newcastle striker in the Premier League last season #NUFC— Ben McAleer (@BenMcAleer1) July 15, 2014
Riviere emerged as a promising young striker with Saint-Etienne. He scored 16 goals over two seasons with the club before moving to Toulouse and then Monaco.
The French youth international has flashed plenty of potential during each of those stops. As mentioned, however, he's struggled to carve out a regular role for himself atop the formation. It's also why he's already on his fourth club.
Perhaps he will finally find a comfort zone at St. James' Park. Adding at least one more striker has been one of the top priorities for Newcastle with the new campaign approaching. Riviere is capable of helping fill the void.
The signing doesn't come as much of a surprise. After speculation linked the two sides, Alex Young of Goal noted manager Alan Pardew confirmed the chase: "It's another one that we're talking to. He's a player that we have some interest in."
Will Riviere be a key addition for Newcastle?
Now that the deal is complete Riviere will have a month to get up to speed with his new teammates before Newcastle opens the new campaign. The side has seven preseason matches before that point, which should help with the transition.
Depending on his form during the friendlies and whether there are any further signings to the strike force, he could work his way into the starting lineup. Papiss Cisse and Yoan Gouffran are both coming off mundane seasons, and the options beyond that are untested.
Riviere hasn't had a club commit to him as a key part of the attack yet. Newcastle may finally be the side that does, and it's his job to reward it.