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Newcastle United Premier League strikers ranked from worst to best – Part Five (20-11)

2 months ago

Ranking all of the Newcastle United Premier League strikers from worst to best.

For every Shearer, Ferdinand or Beardsley who has delighted the Toon Army, there has been a Riviere, Guivarc’h or Slimani causing dismay.

With goal scorers placed on a pedestal by the club, I decided to undertake the mission of ranking all of those who have appeared in at least one PL match.

PART FIVE (20-11)

Hello and welcome to the fifth of our six-part series ranking all of the Newcastle United Premier League strikers from worst to best.

A reminder that this series is not looking at the player’s value for money (or lack thereof), rather their top-flight league performances as a striker.

In the case of few appearances, the player may be ranked higher than someone who was useless for a prolonged period.
Today sees us enter the top 20 positions, with the hordes of leaden-footed relics now confined to previous instalments.

20. Peter Lovenkrands (45 PL games, 9 goals)

A Danish winger-come-striker, Lovenkrands was famously signed ‘on a free from Germany’, almost nine years after Newcastle found themselves beaten to his signature by Glasgow Rangers.

The pacey attacker proved a popular figure in black and white, and was pivotal throughout the 2009-10 promotion campaign, memorably scoring a goal three days after his father had died.

Providing a dependable outlet in the Premier League the following season, the rangy forward was allowed to join Birmingham City in 2012, having fallen below Demba Ba, Leon Best and Shola Ameobi in the food chain.

19. Duncan Ferguson (30 games, 8 goals)

A shock £8m signing from Everton, ‘Big Dunc’ was chosen by Alan Shearer as the strike partner he wanted in 1998, and two debut goals against Wimbledon suggested the two would form an irresistible alliance when the number nine returned.

The Mag Issue 124 August 1999

Issue 124 – August 1999

Injuries curtailed his availability until a relatively prolonged spell of availability in 1999-2000 briefly saw the fantasy come to fruition, with the pair notching eleven goals in just ten matches together from December to February.

A desire to return to his beloved Toffees ensured his Tyneside tenure only lasted 18 months, with highlights including a spectacular volley against Manchester United and the injection of impetus he provided when brought on for extra-time in the 1999 FA Cup semi-final win against Spurs.

18. John Barnes (27 games, 6 goals)

Part of Kenny Dalglish’s 1997 “Dad’s Army” recruitment policy, the legendary John Barnes was a relative twinkle in the dour Scot’s eye at 33-years-old, with both Stuart Pearce and Ian Rush the wrong side of 35.

Despite a portly physique, the rotund veteran was the most effective of the trio, pushed up front to score vital goals, including a 20-yard curler against West Ham and two outstanding finishes to secure a vital 2-1 win over Southampton.

With Alan Shearer fit again in February, Barnes was able to drop into a deeper role, but remained Newcastle’s top league scorer for the season, in addition to assisting Shearer’s winning goal in the 1998 FA Cup semi-final against Sheffield United, before Ruud Gullit bombed him out to Charlton on a free the following season.

17. Paul Kitson (36 games, 10 goals)

Signed from Derby County in 1994 following protracted negotiations, Kitson’s £2.25m arrival was intended to provide back up for Andy Cole and Peter Beardsley.

Cole’s sale to Manchester United ensured the reliable, if not prolific, Kitson was shoved into the spotlight and despite initially struggling to meet expectations, a seasonal haul of eight league goals in 26 games was a reasonable return under the circumstances.

The arrival of Les Ferdinand meant he was once again left to play second fiddle, with West Ham agreeing a £2.3m deal to pair him and John Hartson to good effect.

16. Andy Carroll (78 games, 15 goals)

After a stuttering start, the towering striker blossomed during the 2009-10 Championship season, scoring 17 league goals.

The Mag Issue 250 11 September 2010

Issue 250 – 11 September 2010

Adding 11 in just 19 Premier League appearances for the club the following season – including a hat-trick against Aston Villa – the 22-year-old’s extraordinary form led to a remarkable £35m transfer to Liverpool, where he floundered before being dispatched to West Ham on loan 18 months later.

Returning to NUFC following the expiry of a six-year Hammers deal in 2019, two injury hit campaigns saw the Geordie forward manage just one goal in 37 further league appearances, a ghost of the effervescent young tiger roared on by his hometown crowd less than a decade earlier.

15. Michael Owen (71 games, 26 goals)

Held the distinction of being the club’s record transfer signing for more than 13 years, the Toon Army unanimously jubilant after England’s star striker joined from Real Madrid for £16.8m.

A promising start, seven goals in ten games, was curtailed by a metatarsal injury suffered against Tottenham, and he managed just one further brief appearance that season.

Never fully committed to either club or community, Owen was spotted petting foals more often than netting training ground goals, albeit scoring at a reasonable rate when fit.

His refusal to aid the club’s doomed 2008-09 relegation run-in and disparaging comments since departing for Manchester United at the end of his contract that summer, ensured his name would forever be tarnished in the eyes of the Geordie nation.

The Mag Issue 227 31 May 2008

Issue 227 – 31 May 2008

14. Shola Ameobi (294 PL games, 43 goals)

Variously referred to as “The Mackem Slayer” and “Bambi on ice”, Shola Ameobi entered the fray as a teenage prospect, famously squaring up to Dennis Wise amid the ferocity of a goalless tussle with Chelsea.

Demonstrating nimble footwork during his younger years, Shola’s pinnacle as a player arrived at the tail-end of the 2005-06 season, where an extended run of good form raised hopes he could one day fill the massive boots vacated by the retiring Alan Shearer.

Delaying surgery to a troublesome hip at the start of the following season, he lost half a yard of pace upon his return and adapted his game to become a sluggish powerhouse. Despite lacking finesse, a habit of netting against Sunderland and professional off-field conduct mean he remains a popular figure with fans.

13. Salomon Rondon (32 games, 11 goals)

Venezuelan striker who temporarily traded West Bromwich Albion for Newcastle in an exchange deal with Dwight Gayle.

A dominant presence, his loan stint gained momentum with two thunderous goals in a 2-1 home victory against Bournemouth – Ayoze Perez providing the guile to complement Rondon’s physical gifts.

The addition of Miguel Almiron saw the formation of a potent front three and the Magnum Opus of the Rafa Benitez era arguably arrived at its denouement on the final day of the 2018-19 season with a 4-0 win at Fulham – retrospectively tinged with sadness as it marked the curtain call for Benitez, Rondon and Perez.

12. Ayoze Perez (143 PL games, 33 goals)

Promising Spanish attacking midfielder signed for a bargain £1.6m following an impressive 16 goals in 34 Segunda Division games at Tenerife in 2013-14.

The continued profligacy of senior striking options saw Alan Pardew call Perez into the first team, with the 20-year-old showing great promise as he plundered seven league goals in 36 games.

A favourite of Rafa Benitez, Perez regularly reserved his best form for the second half of seasons, seemingly scaling new heights with 12 top-flight goals in 2018-19, prompting Leicester City to trigger a £30m release clause to secure his services.

11. Loic Remy (26 games, 14 goals)

An unabashed mercenary, Frenchman Remy’s 2013 January transfer window U-turn saw him snub the Magpies to join basement dwelling Queens Park Rangers, with his goals insufficient as the Rs were relegated.

Newcastle’s second approach proved more successful, with Director of Football, Joe Kinnear, concluding the sole scrap of incoming business in summer 2013, his only other deal being another loan deal when Luuk de Jong arrived in January 2014.

A season long loan addition, Remy hit the ground running with five goals in three games against Hull, Everton and Cardiff. Fruitless attempts to make the deal permanent saw him join Chelsea, becoming a perennial substitute happy to settle into bench duties in exchange for a lucrative contract.

Tomorrow sees the final part of our countdown, with the top-10 names listed. Who would be on your Mount Rushmore of Newcastle United Premier League strikers? Let us know below.

(To read the first four parts of this countdown of Newcastle United Premier League strikers, for 60-51 go HERE, then for 50-41 it is HERE, whilst 40-31 you can find HERE, then 30-21 can be found HERE)

You can follow Dom on Twitter @KreamyDom


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