NILE Ranger’s bid to get his career back on track at Barnsley is over after injury cut short his loan spell.
The Newcastle United striker had been earning plaudits for his performances at Oakwell and caught the eye in a wing role at West Ham at the weekend – only for a foot injury caused after a clash with Pape Dioup to cause him to come off after an hour.
Now it is feared that he has broken a bone and he has been recalled to Newcastle for treatment. The striker is now wearing a protective surgical boot as he awaits the official prognosis, but a lengthy spell on the sidelines looks likely.
It is a blow for Ranger, who was benefiting from regular football at Barnsley, and potentially a setback for United too as they look to possible options when Demba Ba leaves for the African Nations Cup in January. Although Ranger has not been close to the first-team picture at St James’ Park his attitude and professionalism at Oakwell have prompted praise from Tykes boss Keith Hill – and those reports have got back to Alan Pardew.
In all likelihood Ranger will head out on loan again in the New Year when he recovers, although he has legal battles to fight first.
As revealed in The Journal yesterday, United now look unlikely to bring in striker reinforcements in January after the collapse of their swoop for Modibo Maiga.
Much will depend on results over the next few weeks – with Newcastle’s big wigs meeting weekly to discuss transfer plans.
If the goals dry up they may move.
But there is a feeling at St James’ Park that there may be little value in this window, although the club have watched Moussa Sow, Luuk de Jong and Pape Cisse over the last few months.