Nigerian striker Shola Ameobi has been a Newcastle player for the whole of his professional career. Starting from the youth setup in 1995, the 31-year-old made his first team debut for the Tyneside club in 2000 in a home game against Chelsea.
With just 12 months left in his current contract at the Tyneside club, reports are rife it’s ‘decision time’ for the former England U-21 as he now plays second-fiddle to Senegalese striker Papiss Cisse.
The Newcastle Chronicle reports that the Zaria born striker had told Magpie coach Alan Pardew he was considering his options, when the gaffer alerted him on his willingness to offer him a contract extension to his current deal.
He had told the club to give him time over the summer to mull over the stakes. Alan Pardew and the St. James’ Park faithful are well aware of the strikers influence in the club’s dressing room. He is one of the most respected professionals in the current squad.
“The bottom line is how long does Shola want to stay at one club? Pardew said. “He has been here his whole career.”
Newcastle would not want to repeat the Danny Simpson and Danny Guthrie scenario, when they eventually watched both players leave the club on a free transfer after delaying their move at the initial stage with Ameobi.
Should Ameobi decide to leave St James’ Park Newcastle will cash in on him just to move things forward as the Magpies look to shape their squad.
It’s obvious the long-serving center-forward wants more game time and that cannot be assured at Newcastle.
With Yoan Gouffran and Adam Campbell also vying for partnership with Cisse and the likelihood of a fresh inclusion this summer, the striker, who has only one cap for Nigeria will not be guaranteed a starting role.
However, he had always found one way or the other to sneak into the managers’ scheme, either coming on as replacement for injured first choices or proving his match fitness.
Pardew will sit down with Ameobi to sort out his future as it remains a doubt if the player will accept a bit-part role. His departure according to Newcastle Chronicle will increase Pardew’s wage budget as he’s said to be on a wage of around £28,000.
But is not all about the money for a player like Ameobi, he could as well chose to remain at Newcastle and conclude the ‘bitter-sweet’ legend of his Newcastle journey.