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Never Lived Up to the Hype


A Twitter post from one of Newcastle's commercial partners got me thinking yesterday. The tweet from Mansion Bet read "Name a signing your club made which you were majorly hyped for but ended up severely disappointed with?" When reading this, my thoughts were probably similar to a lot of you reading this: "One? I could give you more than bloody one? I could give you a list!" I wouldn't even need to go that far back in time for this list, never mind going back to the late nineties, in the days of Jon Dahl Tommasson or Silvio Maric. So in any case, here are four of my biggest disappointments from the past ten years or so:

Siem de Jong

Siem de Jong arrived with quite the fanfare in the summer of 2014. Newcastle signed the former Ajax captain for £6million, which nowadays would seem an absolute steal. Alan Pardew handed de Jong the number ten shirt and immediately named him vice-captain, behind club captain Fabricio Coloccini, and the Dutch international made his magpie debut in a 0-0 stalemate at Villa Park. Unfortunately, less than one month later, de Jong suffered the first of a long list of injuries which ultimately put pay to his stay on Tyneside.

The initial thigh problem in September 2014, was then added to months later with a collapsed lung, a condition he had suffered previously whilst at Ajax. Siem eventually made his return to action seven months later in April 2015. The one positive from that game, which incidentally was a horrendous 3-2 home defeat to Swansea City, de Jong scored his first goal for Newcastle, but it was little more than a late consolation at that point for then manager John Carver's side.

De Jong found himself in and out of the first team picture from then on, as his form was nothing to write home about. Then in January 2016, he was injured once again. This time in a freak incident which led to his eye-sight being threatened by a rogue contact lense being pushed too deep into his eye. The following season saw a return to Holland, more specifically, PSV Eindhoven, on a season long loan. Meanwhile, Newcastle were busy in the Championship, after being relegated from the Premier League for a second time under the ownership of Mike Ashley. With a return to the Premier League sealed under the stewardship of Rafa Benitez, the Spaniard had no interest in keeping de Jong for the toon's return to the top flight, and Siem de Jong was finally sold back to Ajax that summer, just three years into the six year deal he signed when joining Newcastle.

Facundo Ferreyra

At the time, I remember being really excited about this one. Ferreyra was prolific for Shakhtar Donetsk, having scored 21 goals in 30 appearances the previous season. The Argentine centre forward was signed in the same summer as Siem de Jong, this one was a season long loan, with an option to buy, reported to be around the £6million mark. £6million for a striker who was averaging more than a goal in every two games, what a bargain I thought, a genius piece of business! How wrong I was!

Ferreyra never made a single appearance for Newcastle. He admitted he struggled to get to grips with the physicality of the English game and his own failures to adapt. Ferreyra still turned up to training every day for that season, but it wasn't a shock in the slightest when Newcastle announced that they would not be taking up the option to buy clause in his deal, and the Argentine was returned to Donetsk.

Dan Gosling

In the summer of 2010, Newcastle pulled off a major coup over one of their Premier League rivals, Everton. They pinched one of their brightest young, English stars from under their nose on a bosman. Taking advantage of Everton's failure to tie down Gosling to a long-term deal, after the young Englishman had started to really make a name for himself the previous season (take note Mr. Charnley re Matty Longstaff!) The magpie's didn't even have to pay the Toffees any compensation for the prospect, and Gosling duly signed on the dotted line to become a Newcastle United player.

A recurring knee injury meant first team opportunities were hard to come by, another reason was Newcastle's new formidable midfield partnership of Cheick Tiote and Yohan Cabaye. In 2013, he went on loan to then Championship side Blackpool to get first team football. After Cabaye's acrimonious departure to PSG, Gosling found himself in the first team picture and more or less established his place in the side for the remainder of the 2014-15 season. Gosling eventually left for the south coast, where he joined Bournemouth on a free transfer. Another talent lost to recurring injuries.

Luuk de Jong

And finally, I started with a de Jong, so i'll finish with a de Jong! Younger brother Luuk actually played for Newcastle before his elder brother Siem. Luuk signed in January of 2014, on loan from Borrusia Monchengladbach until the end of the season. He arrived with a lofty reputation after a prolific spell at FC Twente, but de Jong had been struggling for consistency in the Bundesliga and Newcastle provided a wonderful opportunity to get back on track. Or so it seemed.

The Dutch international made twelve appearances in a black and white shirt, and managed to find the net a grand total of zero times, missing a couple of absolute sitters along the way. Luuk de Jong's stay on Tyneside was short but not so sweet, and he joined PSV the following summer, where he recaptured his goalscoring form, netting 20 goals in 32 games!

Notable Mentions:

Florian Thauvin

Remy Cabella

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa

Damien Duff

Sylvain Marveaux

Henri Saivet

Have I forgotten any? Comment below!

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