COMMENT By Will Butcher
Rafa Benitez must look to hand Hull City attacker Abel Hernandez an instant return to the Premier League by solving his Newcastle problem area with a move for the Uruguayan.
Yorkshire outfit Hull suffered relegation to the Championship last season while Newcastle made the step up from England’s second division as champions.
Hernandez, 26, could be looking for a way out of Leonid Slutsky’s side as he will be suffering a case of deja vu, after he was part of the Hull side that was relegated in 2014-15.
Hull will be desperate to keep the 29-time Uruguay international after he scored 20 goals in the Tigers’ 2015-16 promotion back to the Premier League.
But Newcastle could hand him an instant return to the top flight after having a bid rejected to sign Stoke City forward Joselu, according to the Stoke Sentinel.
Hernandez is renowned for his power and pace in the final third, as well as being a proven Premier League goalscorer in a Hull side that have always been fighting relegation.
The former Palermo ace has scored eight goals in 49 top-flight encounters and although that ratio seems poor, 18 of those have been substitute appearances in a side finding chances at a premium.
In the Championship, Hernandez was key to Hull’s instant return under Steve Bruce as he fired 20 goals in just 39 outings.
Hernandez boasts the quality, but it is Newcastle who are desperate for a new striker.
Daryl Murphy and Adam Armstrong have both departed the north east outfit this summer, with moves to Nottingham Forest and Bolton respectively.
And Benitez’s lack of strikers could worsen. The Evening Chronicle claimed last month that Aleksander Mitrovic would be allowed to leave, if his valuation of £16million was met.
Ligue 1 giants Lyon are said to be keen, while Turkish duo Besiktas and Fenerbahce have also been credited with an interest in the powerful 22-year-old.
Without Mitrovic, the Toon will be left with just Dwight Gayle. Although he top scored last season for the Magpies, he suffered a number of injury problems and at least two back-up strikers are needed.
Step forward Hernandez, whose power, pace and desire to find the back of the net would be key in helping Newcastle survive relegation come May 2018.
In other Newcastle transfer news, a report states that the Magpies are looking to table a second bid for this Premier League outcast.