ALAN Pardew is hoping for a belated Christmas present – a new striker.
Pardew is hopeful Newcastle United will dip into the January sales next month.
Summer signing Siem de Jong, sidelined since late August, is pencilled in to return to action in a month’s time.
But even with de Jong back in the fold, United manager Pardew, again under pressure after Sunday’s Tyne-Wear derby defeat, feels he will be short of firepower.
There are also continuing concerns over striker Papiss Demba Cisse.
Cisse been troubled by a knee problem since returning from a fractured kneecap in September.
“I’m not talking about the transfer window, but we need another striker if we can get one,” said Pardew, speaking ahead of the club’s Boxing Day visit to Manchester United.
“I think we are still a striker light.
“Even when Siem de Jong returns, I think we’ll need another one.
“Papiss – even taking away the flu – he is still not right. He’s not 100 per cent, and you could see that in the way he plays.
“That’s something we need to look at.”
De Jong, signed from Ajax, showed glimpses of his talent before succumbing to injury.
The 25-year-old forward is earmarked for the No10 role at Newcastle.
Yohan Cabaye – who left for Paris Saint-Germain 11 months ago – last filled that role.
“I looked at him with adoring eyes (yesterday), because those games with packed defences, with him and (Ayoze) Perez in the same team, we’ll unlock anyone at any level,” said Pardew.
“So it’s important he returns in good health.
“We’ve still got big hurdles to overcome with him – his first training session with the ball and his first real shot with that thigh – but his the progress is good.
“He’s running and feeling good. The surgeon looked at his op results and the signs were very good.
“I think we are looking at the end of January. It has been frustrating.
“Moussa (Sissoko) can play that No.10 role and it’s such an important role in the Premier League.
“It’s massivlely important. It’s a position that can dictate the game. Cabaye used to do it for us.
“Cabaye dictates the game from No.10, Moussa can impact the game. Siem is more like Cabaye and will help us control games.”