The worst Newcastle transfers of all time

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FT Desk
FT Desk

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Luque, Owen and the 10 worst Newcastle United signings of all time
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There aren’t many soccer golf equipment who imitate a cleaning soap opera fairly like Newcastle United.

Feelings run excessive in a metropolis obsessed, however usually uninterested in the crew which represents it. The trophy hunt continues, stretching over 50 years now, however the whole lot may very well be about to vary as they’ve now been purchased over by Saudi cash.

Life below Mike Ashley was grim, however wasn’t all the time that means, although; through the Nineteen Nineties and early 2000s, Premier League title pushes and European soccer did occur at St James’ Park.

READ MORE: Mustafi, Balotelli, Shevchenko and the Premier League’s 20 worst signings of all time

Newcastle have been identified for loads of switch shockers, each within the guise as a membership throwing warning to the wind chasing success and an empty shell simply ready to tick bins and make a revenue.

Right here’s our prime 10 worst signings of their current historical past.

Emmanuel Riviere – £6 million from Monaco, 2014

Context is essential in the case of Emmanuel Riviere. Ashley’s method is extremely business-like; specifically to purchase low and promote excessive. Expertise and youth are key to creating that occur, and in the summertime of 2014, Newcastle had discovered their ft with a market they favored. Chief Scout Graham Carr had been tasked with discovering a brand new striker to interchange Loic Remy who was leaving after a mortgage spell from Queens Park Rangers.

Carr has since admitted Riviere was low down on his listing, however he had scored 12 objectives for Monaco in Ligue 1 alongside Falcao the earlier season and joined Newcastle for £6million. The 23-year-old was primarily deployed as a lone striker and it merely didn’t work, however he was by no means ok to fill the void Remy left. Only one league objective in 26 video games adopted and he was offered to Metz three years later, having additionally moved to Osasuna briefly.

Xisco – £5.7 million from Deportivo la Coruna, 2008

Among the many most painful reminiscences of Ashley’s reign is the signing of Spanish striker Xisco from Deportivo La Coruna in the summertime of 2008. It was switch deadline day, and Kevin Keegan, seething from the sale of James Milner to Aston Villa solely days earlier, had been knowledgeable of a double signing, together with Xisco and Uruguayan midfielder Nacho Gonzalez, by director of soccer Dennis Smart.

Luque, Owen and the 10 worst Newcastle United signings of all time
© ProShots

Smart instructed Keegan to look at them each on YouTube. It turned out these gamers have been being ‘parked’ as a favour to brokers, as Keegan writes in his ebook, and that was sufficient to see the legendary former Toon boss resign for a second time. Xisco scored on his debut, a 2-1 defeat by Hull Metropolis marred by protests; however he by no means discovered the online once more because the membership have been relegated that season.

Florian Thauvin – £13 milllion from Marseille, 2015

One other Carr signing, however this one didn’t work out for various causes. Florian Thauvin’s expertise was undoubted — Newcastle had tracked him throughout his days with Bastia earlier than signing him from Marseille for £13million in 2015 — however he didn’t actually wish to be a part of the membership. His debut noticed a glimpse of his expertise as he scored and assisted in a League Cup tie towards Northampton City, nevertheless it by no means obtained any higher than that.

On the finish of that season, Newcastle have been relegated once more. Thauvin returned to Marseille and obtained his profession again on observe; his kind earned him hyperlinks to prime golf equipment like Milan and Tottenham and he even made the French World Cup-winning squad in 2018.

Remy Cabella – £12 million from Montpellier, 2014

In some ways, Thauvin was a alternative for Remy Cabella. One other explosive French winger, his arrival from Montpellier in a £12million deal in 2014 was met by real pleasure. He’d proven he may beat a person with Montpellier the earlier season, and his kind had taken him to that summer season’s World Cup with Les Bleus.

Each he and Thauvin have been on the excessive finish when it comes to Ashley’s spending, however neither confirmed their true capabilities in England. In Cabella’s case, a scarcity of upper-body power meant he was by no means suited to the Premier League. One league objective in 31 video games noticed him loaned to Marseille earlier than he made that transfer everlasting. He then moved to Saint-Etienne and now performs for Lille.

Stephane Guivarc’h – £3.6 million from Auxerre, 1998

There’s a theme growing right here, of French internationals struggling at Newcastle. There have been loads of high quality gamers from France who made it on the membership, however Guivarc’h was not one in all them. Signed by Kenny Dalglish after the 1998 World Cup, it was hoped Guivarc’h may provide competitors to Alan Shearer.

He scored towards Liverpool on his debut, however made simply three subsequent appearances earlier than Dalglish’s alternative Ruud Gullit offered him to Rangers in November.

Albert Luque – £9.5 million from Deportivo la Coruna, 2005

Albert Luque joined Newcastle as a full Spain worldwide with an enormous popularity. It was 2005, and he had simply helped Deportivo finish the Magpies’ hopes of a European marketing campaign by knocking them out of the Intertoto Cup. Way more impressively, he was key of their push to the Champions League semi finals, scoring of their superb comeback towards reigning champions Milan.

The 27-year-old set Graeme Souness again £9.5million, however a severe damage suffered early on actually set him again. He missed the possibility to acclimatise to the Premier League and moved to Ajax two years later. However his clinching objective within the 4-1 Tyne-Put on Derby win over Sunderland on the finish of his first season will all the time be remembered.

Jean-Alain Boumsong – £8 million from Rangers, 2005

Newcastle took one have a look at Jean-Alain Boumsong in his early days at Rangers and determined towards signing him. Scout Charlie Woods didn’t price him in any respect, and as soon as Sir Bobby Robson was sacked and Souness got here in, instructed the brand new boss. By January, Woods had gone too and Boumsong arrived.

Luque, Owen and the 10 worst Newcastle United signings of all time
© ProShots

It was a torrid 18 months for the Frenchman at Newcastle; once more, he couldn’t regulate to the physicality of the English recreation. He left to assist Juventus’ restoration after relegation to Serie B as a result of Calciopoli scandal.

Marcelino – £5 million from Actual Mallorca, 1999

One in all Gullit’s largest signings, Marcelino arrived from Actual Mallorca for £5million in the summertime of 1999. His largest drawback was not a lot his performances, however the lack of them; he quickly developed a popularity for accidents that took a really very long time to heel.

He was standard sufficient inside the dressing room, although the opposite gamers have been apparently not too enamoured along with his professionalism. Marcelino made 17 league appearances for Newcastle in three years earlier than becoming a member of Poli Ejido in 2002.

Yoshinori Muto – £9.5m from Mainz, 2018

Yoshinori Muto proved himself a good sufficient ahead in Germany, scoring 23 objectives in 72 video games within the Bundesliga.

Nonetheless, he by no means seemed ok, or robust sufficient, to compete within the vigorous Premier League and would finally rating simply two objectives in 28 appearances.

He was subsequently shipped out to Eibar the place he was even much less profitable.

Michael Owen – £16 million from Actual Madrid, 2005

Michael Owen will all the time be first on this listing. He price Newcastle £16million, a club-record payment on the time and one which stood for 14 years, and was made the third highest-paid participant within the Premier League in the summertime of 2005. After a yr at Actual Madrid, Owen made no secret of his need to return to Liverpool, however they couldn’t match Newcastle’s provide.

It reveals how a lot self-importance had turn into central to the interior workings at Newcastle again then, however they wanted a alternative for Alan Shearer, who was in his ultimate season earlier than retirement. Owen match the invoice and hit the bottom operating, earlier than a damaged metatarsal rocked his season and 2006 World Cup possibilities in December.

He went to Germany anyway, tore his cruciate ligament and by no means recovered his finest kind.

He has since been vital of the membership and followers, however his largest crime was seemingly winding down his contract when Newcastle have been battling relegation in 2009.

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