He might not be seen in the same way these days but when Jermaine Jenas arrived at Newcastle, it was a major coup.
Sir Bobby Robson persuaded the much talked about 18 year old midfielder to come to Newcastle ahead of a host of other clubs.
Arriving from Nottingham Forest mid-season for an intitial £5m in February 2002, Jermaine Jenas was an instant hit and blended into the team straight away.
In that first half season he helped United to fourth place and Champions League qualification. Then third place the following year with seven goals from midfield and starring in the Champions League, a level of performance that won Jenas the PFA young player of the season.
Things fell apart a bit at the end of his spell at Newcastle and Graeme Souness sold him, Jermaine Jenas never ever really again hitting the heights of his early days at St. James’ Park, despite playing over 150 games for Tottenham.
Jermaine Jenas has been reflecting on those days at Newcastle and says that if faced with the club as it is now, there is no way he would have been tempted to move to the north east:
“As a teenager aspiring to achieve things in the Premier League, are Newcastle one of those clubs anymore that make you go ‘yeah I know I can go there and achieve a lot, develop into the player that I want?’ I’m not so sure.
“I wouldn’t have gone there, it’s as simple as that.”
“I joined Newcastle because they were a club full of aspiration with world class players; Shearer was there, Bellamy, Dyer – all players all striving to get in the Champions League.
“When you look at Newcastle now, then I think they feel lost to an extent.”