There is clearly not a great deal of money at Alan Pardew's disposal for new players, but he shouldn't have to go out and spend a fortune. The answer is right under his nose in the form of Papiss Cisse.
Signed last January from German side Freiburg, Cisse's impact in English football was instant, scoring goals that helped propel Newcastle to a surprise fifth-placed finish.
However, this season goals have been harder to come by. Due to Ba's form he has been forced to play in a wider position this season and his goal tally has dwindled as a result, with only five in all competitions this season.
If Ba were to leave, though, it would open up a spot at the head of Newcastle's attack that Cisse would be only too pleased to fill.
With support coming from the likes of Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye and others it would only be a matter of time before Cisse found himself scoring with the same regularity, and it would save Newcastle a fortune in the transfer market.
Whether Ba does actually leave remains to be seen. He has a long-standing knee problem which may put some clubs off investing large amounts of money in him. His release clause of £7.5 million remains in his contract. A club like Arsenal or Liverpool might be willing to take a gamble on him in January, but if he doesn't leave then it seems certain he will move on in the summer.
When he does, Pardew must replace him with the undoubted talents of Papiss Cisse.
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