Newcastle United may start the season without a new signing in their starting XI after manager Alan Pardew revealed Loic Remy is a doubt to face Manchester City.
The striker joined on a season-long loan from Queens Park Rangers on Monday, but has arrived injured.
“Remy picked up calf strain before he joined us from QPR,” Pardew revealed after last night’s 1-1 draw with Rangers. “His chances of starting at Man City are very slim. I think to be fair to the other players he needs to be at their level.”
Pardew believes Remy has already had an effect on his team, however, after seeing Shola Ameobi score his fourth goal of pre-season to snatch a draw at Ibrox.
Newcastle had trailed for 86 minutes after Lee McCulloch converted a penalty conceded by Fabricio Coloccini, but Ameobi combined with brother Sammy to score an injury-time equaliser.
“It’s fortunate Shola’s picked up a bit of form and Yoan Gouffran has looked good so it (Remy’s arrival) sharpens everybody up.
“I think what Remy brings is a spontaneous kind of finish. He gets all type of goals. I sat and had a meal with him and thought he’d signed six months ago, so it’s a relief. He brings a bigger threat to the goal which you need, especially at home.”
Pardew is still hopeful of “one or two possible transfers”, but did not sound over-confident they would be in place in time to face City on August 19. He does not expect Stewart Downing to be one, denying stories of a bid for the former Middlesbrough winger.
“There was no enquiry from us,” he insisted. “He's a fine player and a Liverpool player.”