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Shola can step out of Big Al's shadow

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Shola Ameobi has been handed a glowing reference by Newcastle United great Les Ferdinand as he looks likely to kick-off the new season as one of Glenn Roeder's main men.

 

The Toon striker is undoubtedly United's senior striker at the moment, with Michael Owen's season all but written off following his World Cup hammer blow and the jury still out on £9.5m Spaniard Albert Luque.

 

However, with only winger Damien Duff so far arriving from Chelsea this summer, the emphasis on Ameobi to lead the line is growing by the day with the opening clash with Wigan now just two weeks' away.

 

Yet Ferdinand feels that in Ameobi, United already have a fit and available quality marksman on their hands.

 

He told the Chronicle today: "For me there is already a player at Newcastle who has what it takes to get the goals this season.

 

"That player is Shola and we have already seen glimpses of what he can do when he has played alongside Alan Shearer.

 

"But because he has been a young player coming through and he has actually been playing in Alan's shadow, I think he will only get better."

 

Ferdinand, of course, is big pals with Shearer after forging a strike partnership that lasted only one season but yielded almost a half-century of goals.

 

And while Sir Les knows that club legend Shearer is almost an impossible act to follow, he feels that his retirement could bring out the best in Ameobi.

 

He added: "Sometimes it is hard for a striker, particularly the younger ones, to shine like that.

 

"Now that Alan has retired, that is an obstacle taken away for Shola.

 

"I certainly think he has the capabilities to do well."

 

Ferdinand is only one of three players to don the famous No 9 shirt in the Premiership for United - Shearer and Andy Cole are the others - and the ex-QPR and England star pointed to Cole's next destination after Newcastle as an example of how Ameobi could go from strength to strength.

 

For even though Cole was a huge loss to Newcastle when he left in 1995 in a deal worth £7m, it was only a few years later when Man U fans saw the best of him. Ferdinand says: "Look at Andy Cole when was at Manchester United.

 

"He only started to produce the goods on a frequent basis at Old Trafford when Eric Cantona retired.

 

"It does happen in football for some reason.

 

"I can also speak from experience as well during my QPR days.

 

"Back then we had Roy Wegerle playing at Loftus Road and I found it hard to shine while he was getting the goals.

 

"It becomes difficult to focus, but when Roy left for Blackburn, Les Ferdinand became a different player for QPR.

 

"That could be the same at Newcastle with Shola.

 

"He now has the responsibility on his shoulders.

 

"Hopefully he can rise to that challenge because he certainly is capable and has the ability."

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No point really discussing Shola anymore. It looks like it's going to be a moot point, as he's our only "big man" striker, he's almost certainly going to start vs Wigan.

 

ALthough I'd take Sir Les back in his place :lol:

 

It's a win win situation. Everyone is bigging him up, either he'll fall flat on his face and we can finally make a final judgement and move him on, or he'll deliver.

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No point really discussing Shola anymore. It looks like it's going to be a moot point, as he's our only "big man" striker, he's almost certainly going to start vs Wigan.

 

ALthough I'd take Sir Les back in his place :lol:

 

It's a win win situation. Everyone is bigging him up, either he'll fall flat on his face and we can finally make a final judgement and move him on, or he'll deliver.

170918[/snapback]

 

True.It does appear he will get his chance this year as the to "up top" stiker.

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