OTP revisits some of the transfers that the country’s largest clubs would rather forget…
10. Christian Bassedas
Such a disappointment in England that he retired straight afterwards, at the age of 30. He played as a sweeper for Velez Sarsfield in Argentina, where he was both incredibly successful and impressive. Then he moved to Newcastle for £3.5million, where he was neither of those things and played just 24 times in three years on Tyneside. After that, he had had enough.
9. Alan Smith
This just didn’t go well. After Sir Alex Ferguson attempted to convert Smith into a defensive midfielder, Newcastle then signed a player for £6million who didn’t really have a ‘best’ position. He probably wasn’t best as a striker, given that in five seasons at Newcastle (and 94 games) he never scored a single goal for the club. He only made 13 appearances since Newcastle regained their Premier League place (mostly from the bench) and was behind Danny Guthrie in the line for a spot in central midfield.
8. Michael Owen
Although Michael Owen did score some goals for Newcastle, his £16.8million transfer was still regarded as a failure, and he is not remembered in any way fondly on Tyneside. He scored just 26 Premier League goals over four seasons as injuries left him playing less than half of the available league games in that time. Newcastle picked up his substantial wages, despite often being injured on international duty. He eventually released the infamous brochure of himself before actually telling his club that he was not going to be signing a new contract.
7. Alain Goma
He wasn’t actually that bad a defender but having been bought for £4.7million, he promptly fell out with coaches at the club and was sold less than a year later to Fulham at a loss. He started 14 of the club’s first 16 league games of the season, but had reportedly handed in a transfer request by the end of August, after just weeks at the Newcastle. Evidently didn’t like the Toon too much.
6. Hugo Viana
Not actually a terrible player (he was in the Portugal squad that reach the Euro 2012 semi-final), but just struggled in England after being bought for £8.5million. He stayed at Newcastle for three seasons (but was loaned out for the final season), before Valencia managed to snap him up for £1.5million – a £7million loss. He played almost 40 league games for the Magpies, but scored just two goals.
5. Jean Alain Boumsong
Graeme Souness didn’t have the best of times on Tyneside, and his purchases for the club were dreadful. Boumsong was signed from Rangers for £8million, just six months after being available on a free, on a five-and-a-half year deal. A famous report written by AVB when head of opposition scouting at Chelsea said it best: “Defence is highly inconsistent both due to individual mistakes (Boumsong mainly-exploit) or due to line uncordination.”
4. Carl Cort
Bought for an extortionate £7million from Wimbledon by Sir Bobby Robson after a brief, if promising, start to his career, Cort was unlucky with a series of hamstring injuries (watch him in his natural habitat above). But that does not hide his lack of sufficient quality. He managed 22 appearances in four seasons (scoring seven Premier League goals), and was sold to Wolves.
3. Elena Marcelino
He was seen as a player with potential while at Mallorca, but this soon disappeared when he arrived at St James’ Park. Newcastle paid £5.8million for a player to boost their leaky defence, who then went on to play just 17 times in four years, and is best remembered for being out for two months with an injured finger.
Some strikers struggle after a big move (£5.7million in this case) due to injuries, but it turns out that Xisco is just not good enough. Worryingly, he is still on Newcastle’s books after two years of loan deals back to Spain. Since 2008, the Spaniard has scored one goal for the club. A gut-wrenching waste of money.
1. Albert Luque
His poorness is summed up by the fact that he scored against Sunderland and is still disliked! Luque joined for £9.5million in 2005 and spent all of his time at Newcastle being injured, dropped from the squad or being generally rubbish. He finally left to join Ajax on a free, having cost £9.5million per league goal.
NB: Stephane Guivarc’h and Jon Dahl Tomasson were both sold at either profit or for the same money, and so escape our clutches.
Have we missed your favourite worst Newcastle signing? Let us know below.