Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Mark Viduka to Play on Tyneside?

After spurning interest from West Ham, Birmingham, and Portsmouth, the 31-year old striker has agreed in principle to join Newcastle. Young Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate seems to have been unable to persuade Viduka to return to the Riverside next season and after a year of intense interest in the Australian forward, Newcastle appears to have landed his services.

He would become the first major signing of new manager Sam Allardyce, who seems to have an affection for older, veteran players (pretty much the entire Bolton roster that he put together). Viduka's goal-scoring production went up drastically this year (14 in 29 Premier League games) compared to the two seasons prior (12 in 43 Premier League games) and Newcastle would hope for a repeat performance. I find this to be unlikely as strikers, more so than other positions, tend to decline quickly with age, and I don't know if the supporting cast around him at Newcastle this year would be better than the one he had at Middlesbrough. If the deal becomes completed, it would have more of a repuation-based tint to it than anything else, but we'll see.

The complete story can be found here: http://msn.foxsports.com/soccer/story/6888688

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