Newcastle Utd’s Shola welcomes competition from Remy

Shola Ameobi
Shola Ameobi

SHOLA Ameobi’s welcomed Loic Remy’s arrival at Newcastle United – and insisted he doesn’t fear the extra competition up front.

Remy last week joined the club on a season-long loan from Queens Park Rangers.

But the 26-year-old, set to make his second Nigeria appearance tonight, won’t be available for Newcastle’s season-opener against Manchester City on August 19 because of a calf injury.

Ameobi - who netted four pre-season goals - is hoping the club further strengthens its squad between now and the closing of the transfer window on September 2.

Remy is the club’s only acqusition so far, with a move to bring in another forward, Bafetimbi Gomis, having been shelved.

“It’s been mentioned quite a lot that we’re in need of strikers, so if that’s what the club feels they need, that’s what they’re going to bring in,” Ameobi said.

“Obviously, Remy is a great addition to the squad, because the squad was light last season.

“It’s important we get the right players in. It’s a great signing for us. You can see he’s a top player.

“Hopefully, he can do the business on the pitch.”

Newcastle wrapped up their pre-season campaign with a 1-1 draw against Braga at St James’s Park last Saturday, and Ameobi feels the club’s players, keen to put last term’s domestic disappointments behind them, are in good shape ahead of the new campaign.

With a couple more additions, the 31-year-old feels United can hit the ground running in the Premier League.

“It’s been a tough pre-season - I think as players, we needed that,” added the long-serving player, in the Nigeria squad for the friendly against South Africa in Durban.

“It would have been nice to get a few players in, so we could have bedded them in. That hasn’t quite materialised.

“So hopefully, in the next couple of weeks, we can do that and really get the season going. This pre-season has been great for us physically and mentally.”

Ameobi’s own future has been the subject of speculation, with his contract having just 12 months left to run. United manager Alan Pardew, however, insisted last month that he remained part of his plans.

For his part, Ameobi is keen to start more games, having been a substitute for much of last season.

Meanwhile, Ameobi’s only appearance for his country of birth so far came last season, when he came off the bench against Venezuela in Miami.

However, the former England Under-21 international was unable to represent the Super Eagles at the African Cup of Nations in January due to his club commitments.

Newcastle had just lost Demba Ba to Chelsea, and could ill-afford to lost another striker given the club’s plight near the foot of the league.

Ameobi is now keen to make up for lost time with Nigeria.

“I am so happy to be back with this set of players who always show me love and care, and I promise from now on to always give my best to the team,” said Ameobi.