They Came, They Saw, They Took The…..Money
Newcastle became famous, or is that infamous, for big name signings who didn’t deliver. Recently though the likes of Tiote, Cabaye, Ben Arfa and Cisse have bucked the trend and given more than value for money.
Cast your eyes and rotten fruit & veg over this lot;
Patrick Kluivert – Arrived in the summer of 2004 after a glorious career at the likes of Ajax and Barcelona, filling the fans with excitement and expectation. Kluivert woefully underperformed for Newcastle with a string of lazy and ineffective performances, leading to the club’s decision not to activate the option of a second year in his contract. Just 9 months after his signing Kluivert was released, soon to retire as he was a shadow of the player that he had once been.
Hugo Viana – The stylish Portuguese winger arrived at St.James’ in the summer of 2002 for £8.5million under Bobby Robson. During his three years on Tyneside, Viana failed to live up to both his transfer fee and hype, so in the summer of 2005 he went to Valencia for a knockdown £1.5million.
Damien Duff – Impressed at Blackburn and the 2002 World Cup with his pace and direct running, earning a £17million move to Abramovich’s Chelsea. Two league titles and a League Cup later, Glenn Roeder signed Duff for £5million in the summer of 2006. Frequently injured and more often than not disappointing, appeared to have lost that spark of speed that had made him so threatening throughout his career. Duff rubbed it in by stating an intention to stay after Newcastle’s relegation, only to then jump ship to Fulham just weeks after that initial statement.
Albert Luque – A Graeme Souness special, Luque arrived in the summer of 2005 for a hopelessly inflated fee of £9.5million. The transfer of Luque proved to be a monumental failure as he scored just twice in two seasons and left for peanuts to Ajax in 2007.
Alan Smith – A £6million fee and five years on £60,000 a week, Smith arrived from Man.United and had impressed at Leeds earlier in his career. The highlight of Smith’s time at St.James’ proved to be during the Championship campaign, however this could be said to merely highlight the fact that this was the standard he belonged at.
Michael Owen – A club record fee of £16.5million in the summer of 2005, everybody connected to the club was excited at the capture. Proved a worthless captain in Newcastle’s relegation campaign and Owen couldn’t jump ship quick enough despite the astronomical wages and support Newcastle had provided him with during the four seasons on Tyneside.
Jean-Alain Boumsong – Touted as the solution to Newcastle’s defensive frailties, Boumsong however proved nothing more than a liability during his time at the club. A lack of concentration, composure, pace and consistency meant that Boumsong was destined to fail.
Unfortunately, these are only the tip of the iceberg!
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