Against admittedly stiff opposition, Aaron Hughes still represents one of the biggest blunders made by Graeme Souness, in his short but very destructive time at St James Park.
Whilst at Newcastle, Souness quickly cleared out fan favourites such as Craig Bellamy, Aaron Hughes, Laurent Robert and Aaron Hughes as he dismantled Sir Bobby Robson’s team.
In their place he treated us to the likes of Celestine Babayaro, Jean-Alain Boumsong, Albert Luque, Michael Owen, Emre and Amdy Faye.
By the age of 25, Aaron Hughes had already played almost 300 matches for Newcastle, including 44 in Europe, when Souness pushed him out of the door to Aston Villa for only £2m.
A player who could play centre-back, defensive midfield and either side as full-back, it is frightening to think how much money was wasted in trying and failing to bring in replacements over the years.
After a great club career and accumulating the second highest ever number of international caps for Northern Ireland, Aaron Hughes is now heading down under.
Following in the footsteps of Damien Duff, Harry Kewell and David Villa, the now 35 year old Hughes has signed for Melbourne City.
Melbourne City Manager John van’t Schip:
“He brings with him a vast amount of Premier League and international experience which will be of great benefit to the team and his qualities will greatly strengthen our defence.”
“I played a few years with Damien Duff (Fulham) and he spoke highly of not just the club but the people as well and said the whole experience was fantastic.
“I just want to come in here and have a good season, be solid and contribute what I can to the team. Hopefully we can improve and go even further this year.”
For younger Newcastle fans, you could probably compare Aaron Hughes to James Perch in a way, as a steady no frills player who just got on with the job, though Hughes was several steps higher in terms of ability than Perch.
Good luck to Aaron on his new career step, a player who will be fondly remembered for his days at Newcastle.
One claim to fame is that on Sir Bobby Robson’s home debut as manager, it was actually Aaron Hughes that opened the scoring before Alan Shearer added five more – United running out 8-0 winners on that memorable day.