Six of the Best & Worst – January Transfer Window

Newcastle landed Papiss Cisse during this years transfer window in a £10 million deal from Bundesliga side Freiburg. The most prolific African in German football will form part of a “two Demba’s” strike partnership with this season’s top goalscorer Demba Ba and was issued the fabled number nine shirt.

Whether the Senegal international will prove to be a success on Tyneside will only become apparent over time but there are others we know who have been hit or miss. Here I want to look at three of the best and three of the worst transfers involving the Magpies in the 10-season history of the January transfer window.

Three of the Best…

Kevin Nolan

Bolton Wanderers to Newcastle United for £4 million in 2009

Kevin Nolan Celebration

Kevin Nolan

After a decade at Bolton, Nolan arrived at St. James’ Park but could not prevent the club from slipping into the Championship. However, he was instrumental in Newcastle’s instant return to the top flight. Nolan scored the first hat-trick of his career in a 4-0 victory at Ipswich Town and captained the side for the first time in a 5-1 drubbing of Cardiff City.

During that Championship season, he made 44 appearances out of a possible 46 and scored 17 goals in the process. Punters who took advantage of free bets at online bookmakers to back him in the “first goalscorer” market would have been smiling – he broke the deadlock on no fewer than six occasions. It was no surprise he was named Championship Player of the Year for the 2009-10 season.

The goals continued to flow in the Premier League. Nolan scored twice against Aston Villa in Newcastle’s first home game of the 2010-11 season and a hat-trick against Sunderland in a 5-1 victory. He further endeared himself to the Magpies faithful with another goal against Sunderland, this time in a 1-1 draw. He scored his fiftieth Premier League goal in a 1-1 draw against former employers Bolton before leaving for West Ham United in June 2011.

Danny Simpson

Manchester United to Newcastle United for £750,000 in 2010

Danny Simpson

Danny Simpson

Full back Simpson joined Newcastle on loan from Manchester United at the start of the 2009-10 season before making the switch permanent during the 2010 transfer window. Injuries aside, he has been an almost ever-present in both the Championship and following the club’s return to the Premier League.

Simpson has proven to be one of the rising stars in England’s top flight and is benefiting from playing first team football for a team on a permanent contract, having spent time on loan at the likes of Royal Antwerp, Sunderland, Ipswich Town and Blackburn during his short career so far.

Despite not being the tallest player, he has even filled in at centre back this season following injuries to Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini. Simpson will have won over even the most sceptical Magpies fan when he produced a saving clearance off the line against his former employers when Newcastle beat Manchester United 3-0 in January.

Andy Carroll

Newcastle United to Liverpool for £35 million in 2011

Andy Carroll

Andy Carroll

I am sure the inclusion of the Carroll transfer will raise a few eyebrows but it really was an almost unbelievable transfer. To think, the season Newcastle were relegated Carroll was valued at a measly £1 million but that soon changed when the striker netted 17 league goals in the club’s Championship winning campaign.

If there were any doubts Carroll could cut it in the Premier League, he answered the question with 11 goals in 19 appearances which took him up to the end of last January. Despite signing a new five-year deal in October 2010, Liverpool were determined to secure his signature. A £30 million bid was rejected before an improved £35 million offer was accepted.

For a largely unproven player at the top level of football and one who had already accumulated a substantial amount of negative press, it was an offer too good to refuse. Demba Ba arrived in the summer of 2011 on a free transfer to fill the void left by Carroll and the rest, as they say, is history.

Three of the Worst…

Jonathan Woodgate

Leeds United to Newcastle United for £9 million in 2003

Jonathan Woodgate

Jonathan Woodgate

After racking up over 100 Premier League appearances for Leeds but already showing signs of being injury prone, Woodgate joined Newcastle for £9 million plus add-ons in the 2003 transfer window and soon became a fans favourite.

The defender showed his class on the European stage in the 2004 UEFA Cup semi final first leg where the Magpies held Marseille to a goalless draw, keeping Didier Drogba in check. But, he sustained another injury and was ruled out for the rest of the season and Newcastle were beaten by their French opponents 2-0 in the second leg and knocked out of the competition.

Woodgate could have been an all-time great if it wasn’t for his continual problems with injury and with that in mind, should Newcastle have ever signed him in the first place? With fears of being lumbered with a non-playing footballer on a long, lucrative contract, Real Madrid saw fit to take him off the club’s hands for £13.4 million in August 2004. A lucky escape.

Jean-Alain Boumsong

Rangers to Newcastle United for £8 million in 2005

Jean-Alain Boumsong

Jean-Alain Boumsong

The transfer of Boumsong was one which raised a few eyebrows. The defender joined Rangers from Auxerre on a free transfer a matter of months before Newcastle bid £8 million for him – there was no interest in him when he was out of contract.

The move became even more farcical when Boumsong won a Scottish Premier League winners medal having played the requisite number of matches for Rangers, despite being a Newcastle player for some five months by the time the Gers had won the title. The transfer was later one of those investigated by the Stevens report in 2006.

Initially, Boumsong was a hit at St. James’ Park and formed a good partnership with Titus Bramble. However, his second season was littered with errors and he was often blamed for the conceding of several goals. In August 2006, he joined Juventus, relegated to Serie B, for £3.3 million.

Amdy Faye

Portsmouth to Newcastle United for £2 million in 2005

Amdy Faye

Amdy Faye

Faye was another Graeme Souness transfer investigated by the Stevens report and another player who failed to impress. Faye made 31 Premier League appearances in total and despite being more recognised as a defensive midfielder or a centre back, he was deployed on the right wing due to injuries to other players.

After 18 uninspiring months in a Magpies jersey, he joined Charlton Athletic in August 2006 for the same fee that was shelled out for him. The Addicks went on to be relegated that season. Faye continued to forge a career in the UK with spells at Rangers, Stoke City and most recently, Leeds United.

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1 Comment + Add Comment

  • Amdy Faye was terrible. One of the worst players (if you can call him that) to play for Newcastle. It really highlighted how god awful Souness was. Souness should be made to answer for his destruction of the Newcastle squad along with Shepard for hiring him.

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