Newcastle United have had a strange relationship with the loan market under Mike Ashley, though Facundo Ferreyra could prove to be the Argentine cherry on top of the cake.

Speculation mounts over the ‘Rangers 5’, with the Glasgow club’s manager Kenny McDowall stating that he had received orders from the Rangers hierarchy that he had to play all of the Newcastle loan players every match, if they are fit.

This brought a response from our old friend Derek Llambias:

“There is no way the board is picking the team.”

The former United player Joey Barton weighed in as usual on Twitter:

“Interesting developments at Glasgow Rangers. As I said on @bbc5live Mike Ashley wants a say in team selection at NUFC and GR…

“Makes it difficult to hold head coach/manager totally accountable if things don’t go to play.”

However, while battle rages around the United five a side team that headed north, the press both nationally and locally have almost totally avoided the Facundo Ferreyra question.

Much was made when the striker signed on loan for a year from Shakhtar Donetsk and his mate Fabricio Coloccini telling us all how great he was going to be, then nothing….

To have a loan player who never steps onto the pitch in six months is totally bizarre and something you would hope the journalists would press the club on.  While the Rangers manager has apparently been told he has to play the 5 Newcastle players, is the reverse true with Facundo Ferreyra?

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It is hard not to compare this loan with that of Ignacio Gonzalez, the Uruguayan brought in for a year’s loan in 2008. Gonzalez ended up making only two brief appearances in a year and the Kevin Keegan tribunal agreed that his signing had been against KK’s wishes and had been forced on him by Dennis Wise and Mike Ashley, reportedly as a favour to two South American agents.

The loan route appears also to be United’s favoured route these days when it comes to helping get rid of players they no longer want. The likes of Mapou, Santon, Ben Arfa and Marveaux have all exited by this route initially with two now gone permanently and the other pair unlikely to ever appear in black and white again.

As for Facundo Ferreyra and the Rangers 5, I think we’d all love to know what the story really is in both cases.

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