Wednesday morning saw Newcastle United confirmed as Rafa Benitez’ sixth signing of the summer.
The 27 year old arriving on a three year contract from Stoke City.
Speaking about the move, the Spanish striker has come up with a few interesting observations.
Asked about his time at Real Madrid, the Joselu memory was playing a few tricks…
He said he was exited to make his first team debut under Jose Mourinho as an ’18 or 19 year old’, the only problem being that he didn’t actually sign for Real Madrid from Celta Vigo for £1m as a 21 year old.
Remembering his three goals for the Real first team, it was actually only twice he scored, despite having a prolific couple of seasons for their reserve team scoring 40 goals in the second tier of Spanish football.
He replaced Benzema with six minutes remaining and scored the final goal as Real Madrid beat Almeria 8-1 in La Liga on 21 May 2011.
Then on 20 December 2011 Joselu got his only other 12 minutes in the first team, once again replacing Benzema and scoring in a 5-1 win over Ponferradina in the Spanish cup.
Still not a bad record, two goals in 18 minutes of first team football at Real Madrid!
As for Newcastle United, Joselu revealed that (Stoke teammate) Stephen Ireland recommended the club to him.
When asked if he knew about Newcastle’s fans, the new signing said ‘Yes, Stephen Ireland told me, because he played here, that the supporters are very nice and the stadium amazing’.
A bit of a shame really that Stephen Ireland didn’t appreciate the Newcastle fans when he was at Newcastle.
After Andy Carroll was sold (despite Pardew promising he was going nowhere) in January 2011, Stephen Ireland was the even later (loan) transfer brought in to ‘soften’ the blow.
Stephen Ireland made headlines in his half season spell but these were when he was caught out in a Newcastle nightclub the night before an NUFC match.
He only played 49 minutes in two sub appearances for Newcastle and was just the latest player to come to St James Park and take the proverbial in return for big wages.
A typical Ashley ‘bargain’ move but hopefully Joselu can prove himself to be an inspired Rafa signing, as the manager desperately tries to find Premier League players despite given anything but a PL budget to work with. The signing brings the summer spending up to around £35m but it is a net spend of approximately £22m when departures (Thauvin etc) are taken into account.
Stephen Ireland’s other claim to fame of course, was when wanting to duck out of playing for the Republic of Ireland, he invented a story that a grandparent had died, then claimed it was a different one when confronted with the truth that the first one was very much alive, then when he was faced with facts showing that second one was still with us, he tried an amazing third grandparent death story, before eventually admitting it was all lies.
Joselu speaking to NUFC TV:
‘What was it like to play for Real Madrid?’
“The experience is so nice, my debut for Real Madrid was with Jose Mourinho and I was 18 or 19 years old – the emotion, I don’t know how to explain.
“I scored three times for the first team and it was amazing.”
‘Real Madrid are a club with a very big fanbase, have you heard much about Newcastle’s?’
“Yes, Stephen Ireland told me, because he played here, that the supporters are very nice and the stadium amazing.
“I am so excited to know the supporters of Newcastle.”
‘What made you think Newcastle was the right move?’
“It is the best option for me.
“I am only thinking Newcastle and to know my teammates and the city, the stadium and the supporters.”
‘How much did you know about Newcastle United?’
“I learn a lot about the club because it has a big history in the Premier League, play a lot of big players.
“I also play in the Playstation with the club and I’m very excited and I want to start.”