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Luque challenged to prove his worth

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Glenn Roeder has told Albert Luque that only he can determine whether he has a future at St James's Park after challenging the Spaniard to prove himself worthy of a place in Newcastle's first-team squad.

 

The 28-year-old scored his first competitive goal on Tyneside at the weekend as Roeder's men opened their Intertoto Cup campaign with a 1-1 draw against Lillestrom but, having failed to impress after his £9.5m signing from Deportivo La Coruna last summer, it remains to be seen what part, if any, he has to play during the forthcoming season. Having lost the services of Alan Shearer (retired) and Michael Owen (injured), Roeder is determined to reinforce his under-strength strikeforce and has targeted several players of proven Premiership pedigree.

 

Should the United boss acquire the forwards he wants, Luque's future in the North-East would appear bleak.

 

Yet Roeder last night insisted that, despite the player's troubles, he has not ruled the Catalan out of his plans.

 

"It depends purely on his performances, Albert is no different to any other player in the squad," said Roeder of a player who did not start a single game during his 17-match caretaker reign at the end of last season.

 

"He will be judged purely on his performances. I don't judge players on how much they cost or where they came from, it's just performances. Albert had a terrible injury last season and it took him a while to get over it and then he found it difficult to get into the team.

 

"But I have said to him that it's a clean start for everyone, not just him, and it's up to him and all the players to claim a place in the team."

 

Luque has been strongly linked with a return to his homeland this summer, and a transfer in the coming weeks cannot be discounted.

 

Roeder will not sanction his departure until he has added to a depleted strikeforce, although it is an irrelevance at the present time given that no clubs have shown an interest in the Spanish international.

 

"I haven't had any reason to ask him directly, but Albert seems happy in training," added the United boss.

 

"There hasn't been any interest from any other clubs and I would not encourage that this early in the season anyway."

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Good. A step in the right direction from BOTH parties. I really look forward to seeing a lot more of Luque this season

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yeah all we need now is a centre forward for him to play off.

160478[/snapback]

 

Exactly.

 

 

Luque needs someone to play off and not have the other striker playing off him like Milner was...

 

 

That's why Ashton would be perfect....

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The goal on the weekend was class and i hope he shows more of it!

 

He and Ashton would be a nice combo up front.... Shola and Albert on the other hand has the rest of the Premierships defences shaking in their boots.

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average at best. A few neat touches, tried hard and a good goal, but for a spanish international against a midtable norwegian team he didnt trouble their defence at all.

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