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Newcastle United Premier League strikers ranked from worst to best – Part Four (30-21)

2 months ago
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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 FOUR (30-21)

Hello and welcome to the fourth 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 half, with the better performers beginning to emerge.

30. Dwight Gayle (74 PL games, 11 goals)

The Dwight Gayle who played for Newcastle in the Championship hinted at swift footed and positional elements of a young Andy Cole.

Struggling to transition to the higher level, the lower league goal machine has been more Reg Vardy than Jamie Vardy at times, having often been reduced to bit-part roles as a late substitute in games.
A promising sequence of four goals in eight games post-lockdown provided the ideal time to cash in while his stock was high, but Newcastle retained him, inexplicably agreeing a new three-year contract the following summer.

29. Malcolm Allen (12 games, 7 goals)

A £300,000 purchase necessitated by Neil Ruddock’s thuggish pre-season challenge on Peter Beardsley, Welshman Allen slotted into Newcastle’s side adroitly at the start of the 1993-94 campaign, making an immediate impact with neat finishing and intense work rate.

An ankle injury curtailed his career, and by 1995 he had announced his retirement at the age of just 28.

A late bloomer, Allen was just getting into his stride when things came to a halt, and would undoubtedly have proven one of many Keegan masterstrokes.

28. Carl Cort (22 games, 7 goals)

Another player beset by injuries, Cort first came to Newcastle’s attention as a teenager when he scored in the first minute of Wimbledon’s 3-1 win at SJP in 1997.

Three years later, following a 15-goal return for the Dons, Sir Bobby sanctioned a £7m move for the England U21 striker, with the prospect of a Shearer/Cort partnership thrilling fans.

It began well, five league goals in his first nine matches, but hamstring issues meant Cort was rarely available. Robson reluctantly agreed to let him join Wolves for £2m in 2004 – the emergence of Craig Bellamy softening the blow.

27. Yoan Gouffran (89 games, 11 goals)

One of a deluge of French players signed by the Magpies in January 2012, Gouffran was initially utilised as a wide player, with manager Alan Pardew adjusting him into a central position the following season.

For 18 months he was a dynamic attacking force, chipping in with regular goals and assists, but by the end of 2013 his notable contributions began to subside.

Part of the doomed 2015-16 squad, the Frenchman stuck around to ensure promotion the following year, before relocating to Turkey following the expiration of his Newcastle contract.

26. Leon Best (29 PL games, 10 goals)

Having struggled to impose his presence on Newcastle’s high-flying Championship side following a £1.5m January switch from Coventry, Irish international Best came to life in the PL.

A decent first season haul of six league goals from just 11 appearances included a hat-trick in a 6-0 demolition of West Ham, while the following season saw him become the perfect foil for new signing Demba Ba.

The arrival of Papiss Cisse in the January window effectively spelled the end for Best, with Newcastle doing well to secure £3m from his transfer to Blackburn Rovers.

25. Aleksandar Mitrovic (40 PL games, 10 goals)

Towering Serbian youngster signed for around £13m from Anderlecht in 2015, this self-proclaimed Newcastle United fan had battered 28 goals in all competitions for the Belgian club side the previous season.

A lack of pace didn’t stop him scoring nine times as Newcastle were relegated in the face of mismanagement, Mitro vowing to stay and help with the following season’s promotion push.

Rafa Benitez didn’t rate him, initially preferring Dwight Gayle and Darryl Murphy and later loaning him to Fulham after promotion was secured – a club he joined for £27m in 2018 after scoring the goals on loan to fire their late season play-off push and resultant promotion.

24. Kevin Gallacher (39 games, 4 goals)

Sir Bobby Robson found the kitty almost bare upon his Tyneside arrival in 1999, previous manager Ruud Gullit having plundered more than £18m on a mixed bag of recruits during the summer.

There was enough left to lure Scotland international Gallacher to the club for a bargain £500,000, a move which paid dividends as the lively forward provided much needed support for Alan Shearer.

The goals may not have flowed, but Gallacher’s all-round contribution was never up for debate, the wee man proving equally adept in midfield, out wide or as a second striker.

23. Antoine Sibierski (30 games, 3 goals)

A transfer born of desperation, Sib arrived on a free from Manchester City in the summer of 2006, having been discarded and made to train with the reserves by Citizens’ manager Stuart Pearce.

A prolific partnership with fellow summer signing, Obafemi Martins, saw him add half a dozen assists to three league goals and five others in domestic and European cup competition.

Happy to drop into his natural midfield role, the French veteran became a cult figure with fans, departing after the club refused to offer him more than one additional year, with Wigan meeting his terms with the agreement of a two-year deal.

22. Patrick Kluivert (25 games, 6 goals)

A marquee signing and one of the most naturally gifted players ever to wear a Newcastle shirt, Kluivert appeared a coup when arriving for free from Barcelona in 2004.

The 28-year-old began as backup to Craig Bellamy and Alan Shearer, with Graeme Souness soon adapting the team’s formation to play all three together.

A penchant for late nights contributed to a drop-off in performance from around December, and the decorated Dutchman departed after less than a year, having provided disappointingly irregular morsels of the prowess associated with his glittering career.

21. Temuri Ketsbaia (78 games, 8 goals)

Whacky Georgian midfielder who arrived on a free in 1997 as part of Kenny Dalglish’s squad rebuild.

A serious injury to star man Alan Shearer, coupled with the ill-advised sales of every other mobile striker, left Newcastle rotating midfield players in the forward positions (all more prolific than the ancient Ian Rush).

Ketsbaia adequately filled the void for a period and proved more successful the following season when paired with Shearer, Ruud Gullit considering him an ideal foil for the England captain, despite his irksome habit of running down blind alleys with the ball.

Tomorrow we enter the top 20, who do you expect to see on the fringes of the elite?

(To read the first three 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)

You can follow Dom on Twitter @KreamyDom

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