Any Newcastle United best and worst list of anything is bound to be contentious.

At every home match for starters, you have 50,000 fans and 50,000 different views on what they are watching.

I was interested to see Alan Shearer talking about the greatest overseas players to have graced the Premier League.

A little surprised it wasn’t a Newcastle one as Alan Shearer picked out Sergio Aguero, saying:

“He was deadly again, he is now on nine Premier League hat-tricks and only two behind me.

“The best foreign player to play in the Premier League, a great centre-forward with no weaknesses.”

So my thoughts turned to who exactly have been the greatest overseas players to have played for Newcastle in this Premier League era.

I don’t know what the exact definition of ‘overseas’ is…but I have taken it to mean outside the UK.

This also makes it very easy to make my number one choice…

Shay Given (Republic of Ireland)

A brilliant goalkeeper, easily the best Newcastle have ever had in my supporting lifetime going back to the seventies.

Twice voted into the PFA Premier League team of the season by his fellow professionals, showed great loyalty when staying with Newcastle for 10 years until even he had had enough, with Mike Ashley beginning his challenge of ruining NUFC.

Nobby Solano (Peru)

A superb intelligent player, with Newcastle fans taking varying degrees of time before realising just how good he was.

Brilliant at free-kicks and my favourite moment overall was the winner at Leeds that sent Newcastle top of the PL in December 2001. Considering what a disaster he was as a manager at SJP, maybe a bit of a surprise that my top two were signed by Kenny Dalglish.

Laurent Robert

What an exciting player, playing on the opposite side to Nobby they perfectly complemented each other, providing the ammunition for Alan Shearer.

I still find it amazing that some Newcastle fans only want to talk about how bad he was defensively. I wish we had somebody like him now who could create a goal out of nothing or rocket a near 40 yard free-kick into the top corner.

David Ginola

Those first four or five months, he was just unplayable in most matches.

Nothing better than seeing a skilful winger taking on his opponent and Ginola was spectacular at that.

Fabricio Coloccini

I don’t count him as one of my favourite players but Coloccini deserves his place in the list because of that 2011/12 season.

He was outstanding and made the PFA PL team of the season, even if never reaching those heights again afterwards.

Demba Ba

Sadly, not somebody who any of us will look that fondly on, as he made it clear how desperate he was to leave Newcastle and go and sit on Chelsea’s bench.

However, easily the best striker Newcastle have had in the Mike Ashley era, a quality player far beyond anything we have had since his departure.

Tino Asprilla

Overall, I have to say his contribution wasn’t great if you’re honest.

However, for those moments of magic and the ability to make you smile, he has few equals. The 3-2 Barcelona match obviously the stand out but when he scored and hoisted his shirt in the air on top of the corner flag (against Metz I think), that was class.

Yohan Cabaye

Like Ba, somebody who is now a bit tainted. If Newcastle had been an ambitious club under a different owner could it have been different?

The fact that riots were repeatedly promised if he left, says it all. A very good footballer who was very good to watch.

Hatem Ben Arfa

He delivered a lot more times than his critics give him credit for, scoring and creating a lot of goals – usually from nothing.

Brilliant on the dribble and a player where it is difficult to narrow it down to his best three goals, never mind one.

Jonas Gutierrez

Whilst many of the above are picked on skill, Jonas makes it because of his attitude.

Not that he didn’t have ability but his workrate was something else. Also a great character who the fans identified with.

Amongst those who could have made the list are the likes of Olivier Bernard, Philippe Albert, Gini Wijnaldum, Cheick Tiote and Pavel Srnicek.

All observations and criticisms(!) welcome in the comments.

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  • jack

    Mirrindhina,arentoft , robledo brothers ,

    • mentalman

      They weren’t premier league era

      • Ron

        Weren’t even in my era – well George and Ted weren’t!

  • mentalman

    Most of your list have a tainted history with the club

    I’d have the likes of Albert in there and Hamann

    • Paul Patterson

      Hamann was a turncoat . .

      • mentalman

        Most of our foreign players have been or stayed past their welcome

  • Mark Davies

    Must admit Im never that keen when the discussion only involves the sky money football spoiling era of the premier league. Any discussion involving Newcastle greatest overseas players would have to include the Robledo’s and for me, just because of some fond memeries Benny Kristensen.

  • Down Under Mag

    Colocini and Ben Arfa are very dubious to be on here.

    Give me Phillipe Albert any day of the week over Colocini.

    Also, are we including non-english players? If so where is Gary Speed? And to that end, despite being a numpty off the pitch, Bellamy was one of the most effective forwards bar Shearer we’ve had.

    • JohnCornwell’sHair

      Non UK players so Speedo and Bellars don’t count, Colocini on the whole was a great servant, Albert was absolute class.

  • Leazes.

    God the inescapable conclusion is how third rate a club we are when you look at that list. Ginola who was only here briefly and didn’t wan’t to stay, and was bombed out of his National side for being too individual and not a team player….he was entertaining and we did what we’d done for years in acting as Tottenham’s bloody nursery club.

    The difference between ‘Greatest’ players and Average isn’t in question…. that’s a fair list, but its a relative quantification. A bit like asking who your favourite singer is in Motorhead.

    The question you should be asking is why our club has had so few top International players compared to others when we were consistently one of the best supported and wealthiest clubs in European football.

    • Down Under Mag

      Location, location, location. Always been harder to attract overseas players to north of Manchester and most want to go to London. But it is a little depressing seeing that list as our greatest overseas players when most were only here for a season or two at most.

    • Wor Lass

      “Singer”, in Motorhead?

      • Leazes.

        Yes

      • Ron

        Lionel Richie

        • Phil Yare

          lionel richie was probably the best footballer i’ve ever seen

          • Ron

            Couldn’t have seen Barry Manilow then

    • Stephen

      Why ask a question when we all no the answer?

  • BanJones

    Diego Gavilan?

    • Lewis SG

      Brian Pinas

  • JohnCornwell’sHair

    No Franck Dumas?

  • JohnCornwell’sHair

    Albert and Dabizas need honorable mentions imo.

  • Wor Lass

    Come on, Albert has to be on anyone`s list. He was so good they named the trophy room after him!

    • Wor Lass

      …. and everyone knows his name …

  • Carverlier football

    You forgot about Marcelinho and Xisco… Seriously though, if Asprilla’s there for moments that make you smile then Albert should be a shoo-in – sending the 5th goal over Schmeichel’s head definitely makes me smile…

  • Steven05

    Very very plaeased to see Robert included

  • Toon

    ‘A little surprised it wasn’t a Newcastle one as Alan Shearer picked out Sergio Aguero’ are you for real? Consider the list of your greatest NUFC ones compared to choices such as Aguero, Henry, Viera, Silva, Hazard, Drogba, the list goes on and on.

    • GeordieZebra

      Logged in to say the same. Ginola was incredible but for longevity etc, none of our could be considered number one foreigner unfortunately.

      • Superdooperhooper

        What about pav?

        • GeordieZebra

          What about him. Geordie legend and should be in our list but Henry, Aguero, Schmeichel, Bergkamp etc. Howay man.

          • Superdooperhooper

            Crossed wires . Thought you meant all our foreign players didn’t stay around for long

  • Kenny

    Ginola in full flight was unplayable, the best i have ever seen in a Newcastle Shirt

    • Kneebotherm8

      Took 3 players to mark him……….he created so much space for other players are in the team……

    • Ron

      Absolutely right! Would play him every time even though Shearer used to go beserk with him not defending.

    • Peter C

      Couldn’t agree with you more, an absolute wonderful footballer, and genius of a player.

      If only we had someone like him now.

  • Lewis SG

    I remember Sebastian Bassong doing so well with us. Now he is 32 and has gone a year without football.

  • Paul Patterson

    Jesus Christ! No Lionel Perez, Luque or Riviere?

    • Phil Yare

      brian pinas

  • Ron

    Pavel was a Geordie, and loved it here. Put him in my list!

  • Mxpx

    We’re giving colocinni a spot? He could have been replaced by a cardboard cutout at times and at least sometimes it would be in the right place I’d go with phillipe Albert instead

    • Phil Yare

      aye totally agree – more or less what i just said

  • Milo79

    I’m going to say Guivar’ch, depiste having no idea where the apostrophe goes.

    • Phil Yare

      the best. monkseaton can tell us how he was better than shearer

  • SuperDesHamilton

    Andreas Andersson & don’t anyone dare deny it, that hair was beautiful.

    • Peter C

      Certainly way better than his goal scoring record, and footballing ability.

  • Peter C

    Ginola, ……… worth the admission fee on his own, what natural skill, two great feet.

    Pavel, …….. great goalkeeper, could’ve probably made a decent centre half. A guy,
    who understood what it’s like to be a georgie and magpie.

    Philippe Albert, ……. the Belgian Bobby Moore, who will ever forget, that chip over
    man mountain, Schmeichel, and that wonderful left foot.

    Was a pleasure and honour to have watched them and seen them play in the flesh.
    Pity we don’t have any like them now in the team, as we need some, desperately.

  • Phil Yare

    coloccini? apart from one season in the championship he was mostly useless. Phillippe Albert far superior

  • Phil Yare

    frank pingel
    john karelse
    lionel perez
    ralf keidel
    fumaca
    stephen carr
    tomasson
    andersson
    sissoko
    sammy ameobi

    • Mxpx

      Facundo ferrerya he literally never put a foot wrong for us… Or right .. Or even get a foot on the pitch

      • Phil Yare

        what a legend!!

  • Sing in the Leazes

    oh dear
    are we really so bad?
    what a disappointing list.
    It’s like reminiscing about your halcyon days with an old pal and when you try to get specific you realise that the good old days never happened. One decent night down the Quayside in 98.
    Given and Solano are worthy but the rest… take away each players ten best moments and you’re left with nowt.
    And ten good moments should not be enough for an all time greats list