Updated: Aug 3
Another article I've decided to do during this pandemic and this time, we'll be looking at players we forgot signed for Newcastle. We won't be including academy graduates who didn't make many first team appearances before leaving as we'd be here all day, it will be senior players signed from other clubs but hardly played and I won't include Achraf Lazaar or Henri Saivet as they're still on the books here. Anyway, let's have look at some of our forgotten men.
I hadn't heard of Jesús Gámez when we signed him from Atletico Madrid in July 2016 but despite his age, I had a good feeling about him. However, the Spaniard only played ten games in all competitions before being released in June 2018 although given his impressive display in a 1-0 win at Swansea City in his only Premier League start and Javier Manquillo's struggles during the season, I feel he should have had more game time whilst Paul Dummett was injured during the first half of the season, especially when our defence really struggled during a nine game winless run. He's just turned thirty-five and hasn't been able to find a club since leaving us so should probably retire soon.
Islam Slimani was one of three players signed on loan in January 2018 and the one I was most happy about yet he was arguably the most disappointing one and more of a panic buy given that he took two months to make his debut due to injury. When he did make his debut against Huddersfield Town, he played a part in the winner by putting pressure on goalkeeper Jonas Lössl when he looked to claim a Christian Atsu cross whilst also attracting Terriers defenders to him, rather than Kenedy, who gave the ball to Ayoze Pérez (also unmarked thanks to Slimani's presence) to score an important winning goal. After missing the 2-1 at his parent club Leicester City a week later, he came on against Arsenal and won the header for Pérez to set up Matt Ritchie for the winner but after not scoring in his only start as we lost 1-0 at Everton, he was benched again against West Bromwich Albion and ended his loan spell by getting suspended for violent conduct during that game. The fact that he's been loaned out to Fenerbahçe and Monaco since then has suggested that Leicester want rid of the Algerian although he was bizarrely linked to Manchester United in January (then again, they signed Odion Ighalo so was it really bizarre?).
Onto another January deadline day loan signing, Antonio Barreca was brought in as left-wing back cover from Monaco on the same day Miguel Almiron arrived from Atlanta United. The Italian had some good touches when he was brought on as an 86th minute substitute in an effort to rescue a point at Tottenham Hotspur two days after arriving but he didn't make another appearance afterwards and was only an unused substitute for games against Brighton & Hove Albion and Liverpool late in the season. This means he is the only player to only ever play for us at Wembley. In the summer, he went on loan again, this time to Genoa.
When Andy Carroll left for Liverpool on deadline day in January 2011, Shefki Kuqi was brought in as a stop gap replacement. The fact we sold our top scorer at the worst possible time in the season meant that manager Alan Pardew chose to bring in Kuqi as a short term replacement as we could only sign free agents, the veteran striker didn't score in any of his six appearances and was released at the end of the season whilst the proper replacement for Carroll signed that summer would be Demba Ba and the rest is history. Meanwhile, Kuqi had disappointing spells at Oldham Athletic and Hibernian before retiring in 2013 at the age of thirty-six.
Dan Gosling showed promise in first full season at Everton in 2008-09, including scoring the winner as they knocked rivals Liverpool out the FA Cup but he was released in June 2010 after failing to agree a new contract and we snapped him up following promotion. However, an anterior cruciate ligament injury suffered in March 2010 meant his only appearance in his first season on Tyneside was as a very late substitute in a 1-1 draw at rivals Sunderland in January. His second appearance for us also came in the derby and he did have a chance to seal three points for us, only for Simon Mignolet to deny him (but we still won 1-0) and he scored his only goal for us in a 3-1 loss at Manchester City three months later before being sent off in a 4-2 loss at Norwich City three weeks later. He only ever completed ninety minutes in a first team game for us twice and having spent three months on loan at Blackpool in 2013-14, he left for Bournemouth in July 2014, where he has fared a lot better and scored a late equaliser against us in February 2018.
Another player signed following promotion in 2010, former England international Sol Campbell arrived on a free transfer after a season which saw him make one appearance for Notts County in League Two before joining Arsenal for the second half of the season. During his one season with us, he was accused of being overweight and can be remembered for defensive disaster-classes in defeats at West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City as he looked uninterested. After not being able to find a club in the 2011-12 season, he retired from playing and has been manager at financially wounded clubs Macclesfield Town and Southend United.