As Newcastle United prepare to enter their second full season under the ownership of the Saudi-backed Public Investment Fund (PIF), it is clear large investment is needed if the club is to be elevated from top four candidates to potential Premier League title contenders.
After a strong start to the season, the Magpies have faltered slightly post-World Cup with their goalscoring output being a major area of concern.
Prior to recent 2-1 wins over Wolves and Nottingham Forest, they had scored just six goals in nine games following the break.
Will Newcastle sign a striker in the summer transfer window?
Callum Wilson, when fit, can be an impressive Premier League forward, but he is too often unavailable and has missed another six games this season with a niggling hamstring injury.
When he was fit prior to the World Cup he managed a respectable six goals in 11 league games, but since returning they have dried up with him only registering once in seven.
At 31 years old, it is looking increasingly unlikely that he is to be the main man going forward and it may well be time to cash in on the former Bournemouth marksman whose contract expires in the summer of 2024.
The other option Newcastle have in the striking position is Alexander Isak, who has found form in recent weeks with three goals in his last two games.
However, the Sweden international has also struggled with injuries this season, starting only seven games in the league.
Whilst the 23-year-old, who signed from Real Sociedad for a reported £6om last summer, is a fantastic prospect, it is clear he will need competition for the striking role going forward.
Who is Rasmus Hojlund?
Now, Newcastle are reportedly linked with Atalanta’s highly-rated Danish striker Rasmus Højlund who has also attracted the attention of Arsenal along with a host of top Italian clubs.
The gem – valued at €50m (£44m) – is the perfect successor to Wilson, with pace, power and the coolness in front of goal of a far more experienced player.
He has registered seven goals and one assist so far this campaign in Serie A, and followed up a hat-trick against Finland with a double against Kazakhstan in Euro 2024 qualifying for his country last week.
As a young Scandinavian forward, who scout Jacek Kulig lauded as an “absolute monster“, comparisons to Manchester City star Erling Haaland are inevitable.
Atalanta coach, Gian Piero Gasperini said of his young forward (via the Daily Star) that:
“The characteristics are very similar [between Hojlund and Haaland], especially in accelerations.
“I’m convinced he will have a great career. Technically, he always shows different and better things.”
As PIF look to build for a future of success, bringing in such a highly-rated, exciting young forward to challenge Isak, and replace Wilson, ahead of the likes of Arsenal would be a real statement of intent.