Scout Report – Cedric Bakambu
If the rumours are true, Newcastle United may be joining West Ham in looking to sign Villarreal’s striker Cedric Bakambu. The Congolese international hit just 12 goals last season in what was an unusual dip for him, though he is already on his way to surpassing that this term with 9 in 14 so far.
West Ham’s interest has been known since the summer, however, with their striking problems increasingly evident, Newcastle United appear to be joining the race, with scouts having been sent to Spain in order to watch Bakambu first hand.
Bakambu won’t be available on the cheap as his reputation has grown in Spain in recent times, though should Newcastle’s proposed takeover go through before the January transfer window, any fee would not be an issue. Here’s what we know about the player so far:
Although he represents DR Congo at international level, Bakambu was born in France and after a six-year stay at Ivy, he carried on his youth football at Sochaux between 2006 and 2010.
A four-year stint in the Sochaux first team led to him making 94 league appearances and scoring 18 goals. However, his general play is what that brought him to the attention of former Turkish champions Bursaspor and a move there came in the summer of 2014.
Between 2009-2011, the striker was capped 38 times by France at under-18, under-19 and under-20 levels before he switched allegiances to Congo in order to get full international honours. Bakambu managed 27 league appearances and an impressive 13 goals during his one season in Turkey before looking to move back to western Europe.
The 26-year-old moved to Villarreal in 2015 and hit 22 goals in his first season in Spain, earning himself a big reputation as a prolific hitman.
Style Of Play
At 6 feet tall Bakambu can certainly make his presence felt in the air and sees himself as a good all-round No.9. He has strength, pace and accuracy, meaning he has all the attributes to make a mark as a striker in the English Premier League, though any transfer fee Villarreal ask for will reflect this ability.
A look at his profile on paper tells you that Bakambu has steadily and consistently improved as his career has gone on and he looks set for another step up very soon.
Unless you are playing for or against the powerhouses that are the Madrid clubs and FC Barcelona, the Spanish league remains not as strong or deep as the top level in England and despite the ribbing of the league from the media and from rivals fans in Scotland and Ireland, players themselves still know that England is where they need to be to test their skills week in and week out.