Ex-Newcastle Jets striker Ryan Grffiths is returning to the A-League after a year-long stint with Beijing Baxy in Chinese League One – but he won’t be returning to his former club.
It was announced earlier today that the 32-year-old Griffiths will link with Adelaide United for the remainder of the season, and pending a medical could join his new teammates on the flight to Brisbane to face the Roar this Saturday.
Bruce Djite and Fabio Ferreira’s respective groin injuries from last Friday’s 2-2 draw with Sydney added to the Reds’ dearth of attacking options, with Marcelo Carrusca and Sergio Cirio also sidelined with soft-tissue injuries.
It appears Gary van Egmond and the Jets’ football department are clinging to the forlorn hope of retaining Nathan Burns, who is expected to return to Korean club Incheon United when his current loan expires after Friday’s game with Melbourne Victory.
Nothing from either the Jets or Burns’ management indicates that the loan deal is likely to be extended, despite the issue being discussed for the best part of a month.
With Adam Taggart, who has scored six of Newcastle’s 13 goals for the season, unavailable for the next three games and Emile Heskey still yet to find the target in seven appearances the club’s strikepower looks decidedly thin should they not hang onto Burns.
With all due respect to Joey Gibbs, who at 21 can still develop into a quality attacker, it is hard to argue that Griffiths wouldn’t have boosted the club’s striking options.
This is a team that has been kept scoreless seven times in 13 matches so far this season and sit precariously in sixth on the A-League ladder, potentially facing a fourth-straight year of failing to make the finals.
So to pass on Griffiths, who with 19 goals sits behind only brother Joel on the club’s list of all-time leading scorers, seems baffling to say the least.
Of course, Newcastle management may very well know something that I don’t regarding Burns, or may have other options available during the January transfer window.
But if the month comes and goes and the Jets’ scoring problems continue, questions should be asked as to why Griffiths was not considered the best man for the job, and why favourite sons like he and Joel are returning to Australia to play football elsewhere.
It wasn’t exactly the exciting season opener we’d all craved. Sydney FC were unable to give Steve Corica a winning league debut, but scraped a draw when they might easily have lost. Adelaide weren’t able to win a game they largely controlled, but survived a late half-charge under which they might have flagged. Certainly, both […]