Newcastle United summer deserters rated after their escapes
All too predictably, when Newcastle United were confirmed as relegated, there was a rush to jump ship from some of the backbone-free members of the Newcastle squad.
In fact some players had already made clear before relegation was confirmed, that they were intending to desert, Moussa Sissoko and Daryl Janmaat just two of them.
So how has it worked out for those who lacked the character to stay and fight to put right the mess that they had helped cause?
Newcastle are riding high in the Championship at Christmas but how have the five most prominent deserters fared?
Here are my assessments and some old school grades (A+ equalling best and down to E- equalling worst) on how they life is for each of them post-Newcastle:
Gini Wijnaldum (1 goal, 2 assists) B+
Liverpool (2nd): 13 PL starts, 3 from the bench
Easily the most successful of those who didn’t stick around, Wijnaldum may not have scored as many goals as he did at Newcastle but has proved a valued member of Klopp’s team.
Featuring in 16 of the 17 Premier League matches, the Dutchman is currently second top of the Premier League and into the semi-finals of the League Cup.
Andros Townsend (1 goal, 0 assists) D-
Crystal Palace (17th): 13 PL starts, 3 from the bench
A bit like his new manager, Palace fans are increasingly questioning his ‘contribution’. Pardew has recently started to not even give Townsend a game and Palace are currently only one place above the relegation zone.
With one goal and not able to create a single one for his teammates in over four months, fair to say things haven’t quite worked out.
Florian Thauvin (5 goals, 2 assists) B-
Marseille (6th in Ligue 1): 17 L1 starts, 1 from the bench
The French League isn’t the greatest but after last season you have to say Thauvin has really bounced back to form.
Scoring some stunning goals and helping his club to recover from near relegation to sixth in the table, the winger’s rehabilitation is on track away from Newcastle, both short-term and then longer-term when his permanent deal kicks in.
Moussa Sissoko (0 goals, 2 assists) E-
Tottenham (5th): 5 PL starts, 5 from the bench
Tottenham have dropped some distance from the team that looked serious title challengers last season, though arguably not quite as big a drop as the ego of Moussa Sissoko.
Ridiculed by Spurs fans and only managing one full 90 minutes in the Premier League, they haven’t had the greatest return for £30m.
No goals and only two assists, Tottenham supporters are seeing a similar end product to that which Newcastle fans became accustomed.
As we all know, the Champions League dream lasted for about the same length of time it took everybody at White Hart Lane to realise what a mistake they had made in the summer.
Daryl Janmaat (1 goal, 1 assist) D
Watford (12th) : 6 PL starts 4 from the bench
Watford are making another good go of staying up and with some seriously poor teams (Hull, Mackems, Palace, Swansea) they should be OK.
Daryl Janmaat made clear he would leave Newcastle for any Premier League club that would have him, to ensure his international ambitions would be satisfied.
Injury and indifferent form have limited him to one game for Holland back in September, so just like his form/match time for Watford, not a total disaster.
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