Reports by 90min earlier this week claimed Newcastle United are weighing up a move to sign free-agent Ahmed Musa, but Steve Bruce would be barking up the wrong tree by taking a punt on the former Leicester City forward.
It is thought the Magpies are mulling over a handful of out-of-contract attackers who can offer additional depth after Callum Wilson was ruled out for up to two months with a deep hamstring tear, including ex-Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge.
The blow has deprived Bruce of his top-scorer and lead playmaker, with Wilson offering 10 goals and five assists in 21 games since joining the Magpies in a £20m transfer from AFC Bournemouth following their relegation to the Championship.
Should Newcastle sign Musa?
Yes, he’s better than nothing
No, he isn’t good enough
Musa has been without a club since leaving Saudi Pro League side Al-Nassr in October, where he scored 11 goals in 57 games during a two-year stint following the curtain falling on an underwhelming time at Leicester.
The former Nigeria international became the Foxes club-record signing when acquired for £16m in 2016 and hit the ground running with goals against Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur, yet those two strikes proved his only Premier League efforts in 21 career appearances.
Nonetheless, he is now said to be a potential target for Newcastle plus striker hungry West Ham and Southampton, after West Bromwich Albion passed on a potential deal to sign the 28-year-old.
Musa had been training with Sam Allardyce’s relegation-threatened Baggies in a bid to prove his fitness as he eagerly strives for another chance to prove himself in the English top-flight.
However, The Hawthorns outfit felt they already had stronger options in Musa’s preferred wide role, per the Express and Star, with six players on the books able to occupy a spot on the wing while Karlan Grant and Callum Wilson can also play as a centre-forward.
Newcastle should now follow the path taken by West Brom and pass on the chance to sign Musa, as the £5.5m-rated free-agent would not be expected to offer anything at St. James’ Park that Bruce cannot dig out of those already on Tyneside.
The Foxes flop was given plenty of opportunities to find the back of the net while at the King Power Stadium, but failed to turn the ball home and has now been passed on by Allardyce’s side despite having the third-worst goalscoring record in the Premier League this season.
If Musa is also eying a return to English football to play on the wing, Bruce would not be solving the issue Wilson’s injury has created by acquiring the free-agent forward, and instead only adding to his myriad of options in Allan Saint-Maximin, Ryan Fraser, Jacob Murphy, Matt Ritchie and if needs be Miguel Almiron and Joelinton.
Bruce certainly needs to find ways of unlocking goals in his side with alternative strikers Joelinton, Andy Carroll and Dwight Gayle only scoring once each in the league this term, but Musa proving a better option would remain to be seen.