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Should We Sign Shola Ameobi?

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Another big man is in on trial, but do we sign this one?

Stu Forster/Getty Images

So who had big Shola on the "first old footballer that Neil Lennon will sign at some point during the season" sweepstake then?

Well, don't go claiming you're imaginary winnings and Twitter points just yet, as the former Newcastle United, Crystal Palace and Gaziantep BB striker hasn't penned a deal with Bolton Wanderers just yet, though he is on trial at the club.

In his pre QPR press-conference, Lennon said:

"We're currently looking at Shola Ameobi - he's in on trial with us at the minute."

He went on to add:

"He's a quality player with a lot of experience - we've asked him to show us what he's capable of and we'll consider our options."

I must admit, it's a strange one for me and I really don't know which way to feel.

It's absolutely clear that we're not only scraping the bottom of the barrel now, we've worn all the wood away and are now beginning to dig through the concrete.

In other words, we are really, really desperate.

Attempts to sign Premier League bench warmers Marvin Emnes and Victor Anichebe both failed, and it looks like a slightly ambitious move for Charlton Athletic's Igor Vetokele has also failed to bare fruit. Every target Lennon attempts to bring in fails and further down the wish list we go.

But we need bodies. We need anyone. With Zach Clough out for months and both Gary Madine and Emile Heskey never far away from a niggly injury, we're desperately short on options in the attacking third - let alone goals.

On that basis, and that basis alone, I'd find it hard for us to turn down Ameobi. Providing, of course, that he does impress and look good in training and in reserve games.

Beggars can't be choosers and we are the Daz Lee of the Championship right now, so are we in any position to turn down anyone?

Obviously, some will point towards the youngsters being given a chance rather than waste money on a 'past it' striker, and I would tend to agree. However, the likes of Jamie Thomas and Alex Samizadeh just aren't ready to be relied upon in such a high standard of football. I'm not averse to either of them, and also Kaiyne Woolery, getting a cameo appearance here and there, but it would be foolhardy to believe they can resolve all our goalscoring woe.

So yeah, with that in mind, and also the fact that Ameobi is a very experienced operator who is big and physically imposing, which is obviously what Lennon is looking for, I wouldn't be all that upset should he sign for the club.

Can you sense a however?

However...

Just like the aforementioned Thomas, Samizadeh and Woolery, Ameobi will also not resolve our goalscoring woe - not by a long shot.

According to the ever reliable Wikipedia, in a massive 312 games for Newcastle, Ameobi mustered a total of 53 goals. That's an average of just under a goal every six games.

That's quite staggering.

Granted, completely different level of football, but Madine's scoring rate at Sheffield Wednesday was just under a goal every four games, and I'd bet he started a lot less than Ameobi did.

I'm not trying to compare the two, really, or berate a player before he's even signed for us but he really isn't going to score the goals we're lacking. As he has never, throughout the entirety of his career, been a goalscorer.

Should we sign him we'll be in the exact same predicament as we already was, just with less wages to try and entice someone else to the club.

I do actually think he wouldn't be too bad of a player for us. At only 33 he could still have a lot to offer. As I've just mentioned, he was never an out-and-out goalscorer on Tyneside, but yet he still managed to wrack up over 300 appearances and is very much considered a legend amongst the Geordies, so he must have done something right.

If memory serves and his legs haven't abandoned him, not only was Ameobi big and powerful, he was also fairly swift, surprisingly so. So I do feel as if he may still be able to offer us a little bit more upfront.

Sadly, however, he won't add goals, and that's what we are so desperately lacking.

If I truly believed we'd have enough funds left over to bring in another striker who's goalscoring rate is a little more favourable, than I'd take Ameobi without hesitation. Alas, I seriously doubt we do, and I feel that we just can't afford to spend wages on a striker who won't score goals, and we'd probably be better served waiting until a better option comes along.

But then again, what if one doesn't come along?!?

What do you guys think? Because this one has got me well and truly torn.