Loic Remy will complete his move to Newcastle by tomorrow, and in eighteen months time this might well be seen as an extremely opportune signing.
The top clubs in Europe have all gone cold on Remy, due to his loss of form and subsequent lack of football, and Marseilles have finally given up on trying to recoup £15m-£20m for him. That original price tag was obviously prohibitive for a lot of clubs, but equally, the Frenchman has stagnated and is considered by most to just be someone who is never likely to completely fulfill his early promise.
There are reasons for that, and they’re all understandable, but Remy has the kind of attributes which mean that – given the right situation – he could be still reach a high level. Physically he’s equipped for English football and he has the pace to play on the shoulders of defenders and be a threat in behind. He’ll be extremely useful, and it’s not unrealistic to think that with a bit of confidence to his game, he might return to the talent bracket he was previously considered to be part of. He’s only 26, so he still has plenty of his career left ahead of him – and plenty of time to prove a point to all the clubs who passed on his signature.
Positionally, Remy is happiest centrally, but he’s more comfortable in wide positions than Papiss Cisse – so expect the Senegalese to keep his centre-forward role and for Remy to be deferred to the right or left-hand side. It’s quite an easy decision for Pardew: Cisse is rendered redundant when not played through the middle, and so it would be foolish to sacrifice that production.