Kuqi signs for Newcastle
FORMER Ipswich Town striker Shefki Kuqi has completed a remarkable turnaround after signing for Premier League Newcastle.
The 34-year-old was a free agent after his contract with npower Championship Swansea City was terminated by mutual consent last month.
But he could now go straight into the squad for Saturday’s Barclays Premier League trip to Blackburn, one of his former clubs.
He has been drafted in by Newcastle boss Alan Pardew to provide back-up to strikers Leon Best, Peter Lovenkrands and Nile Ranger following the �35 million departure of Andy Carroll to Liverpool, Xisco’s loan move to Deportivo la Coruna and Shola Ameobi’s fractured cheekbone.
Pardew said: “We needed another option up front because we are a little light there due to the temporary loss of Shola, and Shefki will provide us with something different. Shefki is a good, honest pro who will give us a strong physical presence from the bench.”
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Kuqi spent almost two years at Ipswich under Joe Royle where he forged a great partnership with Darren Bent, scoring 32 goals in 74 games.
He returned to Portman Road for a two-month loan spell in 2008 but it was largely unsuccessful with the Finnish international making just two starts and two more as a substitute.
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Kuqi said: “I don’t really have the words to describe how happy I am. To get this chance is a massive thing for me.”