Newcastle United fans have had a lot to put up with in recent times and some of the club’s transfer moves over the last few years have been baffling. They have proved in the past that you don’t need restrictions on trade to buy poorly. They used to happily do it the summer as well, or at any time during the season when they felt their money was sitting around doing nothing. So let’s take a look back at the ten worst Newcastle United signings ever.
Considering various factors like fee, wage, performance, attitude, and ability, here are the ten worst Newcastle United signings ever.
Xisco was a terrible addition to the team that never made a lasting impression during his brief tenure at Newcastle United. He was signed for £5.7m from Deportivo La Coruna in 2008 and only managed to score one goal in 11 matches.
Xisco’s contract was terminated with immediate effect on 31 January 2013. After leaving Newcastle, he was named by the Newcastle Evening Chronicle as one of the club’s worst strikers.
9. Alessandro Pistone
Pistone was signed from Inter Milan for £4.5 million. He was dubbed the new Maldini by someone who clearly doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Pistone arrived for Dalglish’s first full season in charge and playing on the left-hand side of a back three he initially looked good. This, however, did not last long.
He impressively disaccustomed himself to the pace of the English game, culminating in his woeful FA Cup Final performance during which the Flying Dutchman, Marc Overmars, almost comically destroyed him.
Dalglish’s decision to move Pistone from left-back to right-back to accommodate for Overmars’ pace was one of the main factors in losing that final. Easily one of the worst Newcastle United signings ever.
8. Stephane Guivarc’h
World Cup winner Guivarc’h was signed prior to the World Cup in 1998, giving Newcastle fans a chance to watch their new striker in action at the top stage.
Stephane Guivarc’h was signed from Auxerre for £3.5 million. It will always be a mystery what happened to him when he moved to Newcastle.
It all looked good when Guivarc’h scored on his debut against Liverpool, albeit somewhat, fortunately, but that was as good as it got for him at St James’ Park where he only played four league games.
7. Damien Duff
Once one of the most dangerous wingers in the Premier League, Damien Duff’s career went downhill when he joined Newcastle from Chelsea for £5 million in the summer of 2006.
Duff seemed to lose his electrifying pace and his final ball was also lacking, making him ineffective on Newcastle’s wing for the duration of his poor stay on Tyneside.
In the final match of the 2008–09 Season, against Aston Villa in a crucial relegation decider, Duff unluckily scored the deciding own goal by deflecting in a 20-yard shot by Villa’s Gareth Barry which sent Newcastle down.
Duff left the club in 2009 to sign for Fulham. He is definitely among the worst Newcastle United signings ever.
With 17 appearances in 5 years, Newcastle fans could have been forgiven for thinking he didn’t exist – he did though, and the £6 million centre-half who came with a high billing spent most of his time out with a sore finger.
It’s almost enough to make Michael Owen look like Hercules. There is nothing to write about him, he turned up, lied about his finger (probably), and left.
5. Titus Bramble
Arguably the worst defender ever to pull on a Newcastle United shirt, Bramble was a calamity at the back for Newcastle. Bought by the legendary Sir Bobby Robson as a physically talented 19-year-old, Titus Bramble had the prowess to be a useful defender. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the talent to back it up.
Bramble spent five years on Tyneside, making countless mistakes in the process, before finally moving on to play for Wigan.
4. Alan Smith
For a brief period, Alan Smith was seen as one of England’s most exciting talents, but in the end, he wasn’t even the best player called Alan Smith in recent times. Especially considering the monstrous £60,000 a week wage he picked up over the five years he was at St. James’, that’s £15.6million by the way.
Smith played 84 games for Newcastle, he didn’t score any goals but he did effortlessly harvest bookings. He will always be remembered among the worst Newcastle United signings ever.
3. Albert Luque
Newcastle could probably have signed Luque for £2 million, but instead, they paid £9 million. Luque was a striker, but his usual position was on the treatment table. When he took a rare break from being injured, he’d play wherever needed – usually on the wing – and remind fans he will still be there.
He clearly had quality, as proved by his price tag, but the move to Newcastle signalled the start of his demise. His sole bright moment was a derby goal against Sunderland in April 2006.
2. Jean Alain Boumsong
Newcastle paid £8 million to Rangers for Boumsong. The Scottish club, who’d picked the French defender up for free a few months earlier must’ve thought they’d won the lottery.
It was made much worse by Boumsong’s near-complete inability. Boumsong was strong and speedy, but he made a lot of mistakes that cost his team goals at crucial moments.
To make things worse, he regularly partnered Bramble at the heart of Newcastle’s defence in 2005. Boumsong was shipped out after one season in a Newcastle shirt, somehow negotiating a move to Italian giants Juventus.
1. Michael Owen
It’s not Owen’s fault that he spent most of his time at Newcastle injured, but that doesn’t soften the blow for fans who saw 26 goals in four years.
Owen spent far too much time on the treatment table. Suffering regularly from hamstring and thigh injuries, it was clear Owen was not the player he once was. He made only 71 appearances in his four-year stay at Newcastle, before running down his contract and leaving Tyneside for free.
The reason behind Owen topping this list is his attitude to life in a Newcastle shirt. He never seemed bothered about the numerous games he missed and spent increasing amounts of time looking after his beloved racing horses in Cheshire.
When he finally left for Manchester United, there weren’t too many Newcastle fans who were upset to see him leave.