Why Newcastle should avoid playing a gamble on Mikael Mandron
According to claims from Football Insider (h/t MSN), Newcastle United are keeping close tabs on Crewe Alexandra striker Mikael Mandron with a view to a potential shock swoop for the Frenchman in the January window.
It has been reported that Magpies boss Steve Bruce was in attendance during Crewe Alexandra’s 2-0 win over Peterborough United over the weekend to keep an eye on League One attackers Mandron and Siriki Dembele.
Mikael Mandron attended the famous Clairefontaine academy in France and came through the ranks at Boulogne-Billancourt before joining Sunderland in 2011. However, he struggled for first-team opportunities and made only 4 competitive appearances for the Black Cats, spending time on loan at Fleetwood Town, Shrewsbury Town and Hartlepool United in the Football League.
The towering striker eventually dropped down to the non-league arena, joining National League outfit Eastleigh in 2016 following his release from Sunderland. An impressive tally of 15 goals in 33 appearances paved the way for a move to Wigan Athletic in January 2017 but the Frenchman failed to make an impact in the Championship.
Mandron then took a step down to play for Colchester United in League Two, scoring 12 goals in 95 appearances over two seasons. He signed for Gillingham on a free transfer in 2019 but managed only 6 goals in 28 appearances last season.
The Frenchman was snapped up by fellow third-tier club Crew Alexandra this past summer and has made a bright start to the campaign, scoring 6 times in 13 appearances so far.
Newcastle should surely aim higher than Mandron
Callum Wilson has made an instant impact at Newcastle, scoring 6 goals in 8 league appearances following his summer move from Bournemouth. But the Magpies have lacked any significant goal contribution from some of the other strikers in their ranks.
Joelinton has scored only twice in 45 league outings for the club while Andy Carroll is yet to find the net in the Premier League since returning to Newcastle last summer.
With Dwight Gayle also out of contract next summer, the Magpies should look to dip into the January window for a new striker to complement Wilson up top. To that end, however, Newcastle have no reason to panic-buy their way out of trouble following Wilson’s bright start to life at St. James’ Park.
Newcastle should make sure that whoever comes through the door represents a genuine upgrade on their existing striking options. And that’s precisely the reason why the club’s interest in Mikael Mandron comes as a massive shock heading into the mid-season trading period.
Having largely plied his trade in the lower echelons of English football so far, it would be a massive ask for the Frenchman to make a sudden transition to the Premier League.
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Mandron failed to make the grade in the top-flight at Sunderland earlier in his career and hasn’t done an awful lot in the Football League over the years to earn a second crack of the whip in the Premier League. In fact, he has hit double digits in the goals column only once in his career across the top four divisions in England.
That’s certainly not the kind of record Newcastle should be looking at if they are genuinely interested in improving their squad.
Moreover, Mandron is no longer a promising youngster at 26, which further fails to justify Steve Bruce’s interest in the striker. Having said that, the Magpies should shift their attention to more realistic targets heading into the upcoming window.