Thursday, February 9, 2023

Newcastle had a mare on Vincent Aboubakar

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Newcastle United may well be ruing their failure to sign Cameroon international Vincent Aboubakar in the recent past, with the experienced striker having only recently shown his quality on the World Cup stage.

The 6-foot machine was heavily linked with a move to St James’ Park back in the summer of 2017 following the Magpies’ return to the Premier League, with then-boss Rafa Benitez believed to have been close to wrapping up a £9m swoop for the Yaounde-born menace.

The dynamic forward had caught the attention after netting 19 goals in just 38 games the previous season while on loan at Besiktas from parent club Porto, although no move to England ever came to fruition as the striker ultimately returned to Portugal to star for the Primeira Liga side.

The 30-year-old – who now plies his trade for Saudi side Al Nassr – has left the Tynesiders somewhat ruing that missed opportunity as a result of his continual prolific form in recent years, boasting a total club career tally of 136 goals thus far, including 58 goals in 125 games during his time at the Estadio do Dragao.

It is the 94-cap gem’s form for his country that has particularly caught the eye of late, however, with the one-time Lorient man – who previously scored eight times at the African Cup of Nations earlier this year – having certainly made his mark in Qatar.

The “dangerous” ace, as described by Thomas Mlambo, seemingly changed the game in the recent draw with Serbia after entering the fray early in the second half, scoring just moments after his introduction with an exquisite, dinked lob to drag his side back into the match.

Such an absurd effort was described as “outrageous” by the BBC with the forward helping his nation to a remarkable turnaround.

With the Indomitable Lions having been 3-1 down before his substitution, Aboubakar then helped to drag the African nation level after again bursting through on goal to calmly tee up teammate Eric Maxim Choupo-Mouting with a brilliant pullback.

Despite only making 16 touches in his 35-minute outing, the £4.3m-rated man was truly integral to his side’s stunning comeback, notably recording 100% of total dribbles and enjoying an 88% pass-accuracy rate, while also showing his brilliant hold-up play after winning four of his five ground duels.

Such a dominant showing unsurprisingly saw the imposing marksman record an 8.5 match rating, as per Sofascore, with the one-time Valenciennes man having simply ’caused chaos’, in the words of 90min’s Kyle Picknell.

Although Eddie Howe’s side are currently well stocked in attack with the likes of Callum Wilson and Alexander Isak, it may well have been handy to have Aboubakar’s presence in the side in previous years.



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