Here is a little bit on each of our ‘leavers’ this summer together with our view on what it means for the player and more importantly for Rafa and his revolution (see stats page for Loans).
Moussa Sissoko (31.08.16)
A £30m+ deadline day sale would not usually be cause for anything other than dismay by most clubs fans, and with the echo of the Andy Carroll sale still fresh in most Geordies minds, it seems incredible that such an 11th hour sale would cause a very opposite reaction.
On this occasion the player in question however is Moussa Sissoko. Unplayable on his day, that day being 2 February 2013 in a match at St James Park against Chelsea. For those of us lucky enough to see him that day there can be no doubt that they boy has talent. An outstanding talent. Unfortunately for the manager and fans of all the clubs he plays for, his desire does not match what his body can produce.
At £30m the sale is a fantastic piece of business for NUFC. The comedy surrounding his agreed sale to Everton, only for him to then now get on a plane for a medical and refuse to answer his phone is just SO Sissoko. And that’s what Spurs are getting.
I for one am more than happy with the overall package that is Diame as a replacement. Whilst he won’t have those rare moments of absolute world class brilliance that Sissoko is capable of, his consistency and overall play will add more to NUFC that Moussa has managed in his 3 years at the club.
A great piece of business.
Gael Bigirimana (26.08.16)
Gael Bigirimana found his way home today after the club confirmed the sale of the player back to his first senior club Coventry for an undisclosed fee said to be in the region of £0.5m.
Bigi never established himself at NUFC playing only 13 times for the club in four years, scoring once, the final goal in a 3-0 win against Wigan. Loans to first Rangers and then Coventry would follow before his move was made permanent back to the Ricoh Arena.
We can’t miss a player who never played so that’s all on this one!
Daryl Janmaat (24.08.16)
In what seems like a strange move Daryl Janmaat has joined Watford from Newcastle United for a reported £7.5m.
After 77 appearances for the Black and Whites Janmaat has decided that what is likely to be a premier league fight against another relegation is more appealing than sticking with his current fantastic salary and push for promotion at Newcastle. For us this is an odd one.
To be fair to the Dutchman, who has 4 goals and 10 assists in all competitions in black and white, he has at least been a professional about leaving NUFC. Unlike some of his ex-Newcastle colleagues Janmaat has just pushed on with his football. He has trained well, pushed to play every game, and played well when picked. And as much as it is another slap in the face with another top player leaving the club after relegation at least he's gone about it in the right way.
It is really only the 'who has he gone to' question that causes some head scratching. But as Rafa has always said, he only wants players who 'want to be here'.
Georginio Wijnaldum (22.07.16)
The consequences of relegation continue to be felt as, whilst Rafa desperately tries to build a squad capable of getting Newcastle United back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, another rat jumps ship.
In this case ‘rat’ is probably not so appropriate as the behaviour of this want away star has been nothing but exemplary really.
Whilst others may have deleted everything to do with our magnificent club from their public lives long ago whilst manipulating the press to their own advantage, Gini Wijnaldum cannot have such accusations levelled against him. For even this week the lad was asked to travel to Doncaster with the first team, then was placed on the squad list at the 11th hour after warming up with the squad only then to end up getting a run out for what ended up being 18 minutes. There is no way [………] (insert a name here from your long list) would have done that for risk of scuppering their ‘dream move’ to play with ‘big players’.
Nope, all credit to him, he’s been professional throughout.
Indeed in stark contract to the ‘we want you to go’ songs for Sissoko at the Doncaster Rovers game there were a few renditions of ‘we want you to stay’ for Wijnaldum. And you know, it doesn’t take much does it! Quite why some pros choose to antagonise fans with their antics is beyond me in most circumstances. Just shut up, crack on with it, do as the gaffa asks, and work on your move behind the scenes.
So what of his transfer price?
A hefty reported £25m, all up front in cash, is not a bad return and represents an £11m profit for a club relegated to the Championship. Newcastle’s recent policy of tying players to longer contracts does of course often pay off these days. And whilst Rafa was clear he would have like to keep the player he was always going to leave.
When asked about the player recently from a Liverpool, season ticket holding, mate of mine if the lad was any good, I text back this…..
And that sums it up for me really.
More consistent that Sissoko, but not consistent enough. Top scorer last season, from midfield, in a poor side and the lad obviously has talent.
Depending on how he is replaced this will either be a great piece of business or could just be one we look back on and think ‘Rafa would have got that out of him you know….’
So with a little mix of emotions we just have to grab at the huge wedge of cash and move on. Onward and upwards we hope.
Oh, and thanks for this……
Papiss Cisse (09.07.16)
After 131 games and 44 goals Papiss Cisse left Newcastle United for pastures new and a lucrative deal at Chinese Super League club Shandong Luneng.
Cisse, now 31, had been close to completing this move last winter before it collapsed due to work permit issues and the deal comes as no surprise having barely featured last season and clearly not being part of Rafa’s plan.
Cisse joined Newcastle United from SC Freiburg bank in January 2012 for a reported £9m and would also be vocally proud to wear our famous number 9. On his day he was unplayable. In his first season he scored 11 goals in his first 10 games breaking a club record, whilst his wonder goal away to Chelsea would get the BBC ‘Goal of the Season’ award and to this day is seen as kind of voodoo!
His partnership with fellow Senegal International Demba Ba would be prolific too, although there would be various reports that him having to play as out wide to accommodate Ba was an annoyance to him. Certainly it would be Ba who would score proportionally more during that partnership.
Whilst a goal every three games is not a bad record Cisse’s downfall was that all his goals seemed to have to be ‘worldies’. A player who’s goals and celebration will live long in the memory, but like some of the other departures this season this is also a timely one.
Captain Colo (05.07.16)
Fabricio Coloccini finally made his break from Newcastle United to return to his native Argentina after 8 years a Mag.
Whilst latterly he’s not exactly set the world on fire and no doubt will regret his injury hit final season ended in relegation.
Signed back in August 2008 from Deportivo La Coruna for a fee of £11m, a substantial outlay back then, his curly locks and silky talent were a welcome addition to the Newcastle side. Roll forward and 275 appearances, 7 goals and 2 assists later Colo is likely to be fondly remembered especially by those who recall his early days. Whilst his leadership skills can be questioned his attitude has always been good, helping us back form relegation at the first time of asking in 11/12 without so much as a squeak. And whilst there were more than rumours over the last couple of seasons that he was ready for a return to his homeland he stuck with it. In hindsight most will believe he should have gone a little earlier - for both parties.
His song, which is a tough one for anyone who takes their kids to the game, will live long in the memory of anyone who saw him play. It can also be argued that, given his desire to go home a couple of seasons back and his quiet unassuming style, keeping him captain for recent seasons was not his call and that we should remember him for happier times.
The end of an era, and righty so. And but for Rafa we shudder at the thought that next season, like back in 11/12, we'd be facing a race for promotion with Taylor and Colo at the back. Thank your for everything and we wish him and his family all the best.
See Colocinni's open letter HERE
OUR VIEW: Not a legend in our view but one that will be remembered by most who saw all of his seasons as a very good pro.
Andros Townsend (01.07.16)
The departure of Andros Townsend is the one we probably feared the most. Your player of the season (see HERE), Townsend was the inspiration that almost dragged us to safety last season. His pace, movement and eye for not just a pass but for goal was something that we were blessed to watch in those few months he was with us.
But whilst he, more than most, looked totally committed to the cause during those last few games the lure of the Premier League means any early loyalty and bond he was forming for Newcastle United was washed away in a matter of 8 weeks. Well, that and the £13m relegation clause that meant only the player himself had any power to say no to a transfer with the clubs hands tied.
Whilst Rafa moved quickly to replace his talisman, it will perhaps be the ‘why on earth did you go there?’ question that will puzzle and probably annoy much of the Geordie faithful the most. For a London boy to move back to the Capital is one thing, but to Palace, under Pardew, is quite another.
His rather bizarre statement upon confirming his move that he thinks ‘Alan Pardew will help him develop as a player’ also seem both ludicrous and unnecessary given his existing alternative was Mr Benitez. Whilst he sent an open message to the NUFC fans telling them how hard this decision was, he obviously doesn’t have enough gumption to understand that his words about Pardew alone are likely to irk those in black and white enough for much of our admiration of what he did for us to disappear as quickly as his loyalty did.
His 13 games and 4 goals, including his wonderful free kick against his new club will at least give us some fond memories and for most a question that will linger for some time - ‘What could have been?’. We’ll never know.
The mischievous side of me would feel even more delighted to see Palace swap places with Newcastle United at the end of this season, even if only to wipe the smug looks of the faces of those Palace fans who have every right to be delighted to get a player of his quality for that price in this market. Although knowing our luck his relegation clause would then be £10m and he’d end up a the Mackems.
OUR VIEW: It is with very mixed emotions that the ex-England man leaves us and I can’t help but think, especially for Rafa, that he could just have given us a year to get us back.
Steven Taylor (03.06.16)
Steven Vincent Taylor has parted company with Newcastle United today after being at the club man and boy.
Out of contract this summer he leaves having made his debut for Newcastle in the UEFA Cup back in 2004. Other than a one month and 6 game spell at Wycombe the season before this was his first senior appearance and would signify the start of a long and interesting career at NUFC.
In all Taylor would play 267 in black and white scoring 15 goals. Making a dozen or so appearances in both of 04/05 and 05/06 it was the 06/07 season that saw him really break into the team as a fixture playing 45 times that season including 12 times in Europe.
Taylor would win Young Player of the Year in the North East and by the time Coloccini joined Newcastle he would become first choice under several managers although would never really establish himself as a leading defending in England. This fact is evidenced by his international record for whilst he represented the U20s team 12 times and then the U21s 29 times, scoring 4 goals, he did not manage to break into the full England team despite a call up to the squad.
In latter years Taylor would almost become something of a comedy figure at St James. Famed for feigning injury when handling the ball on the goal line in a 3-0 loss to Villa, he also adopted some crazy antics to try and put off opposing goalkeepers when Newcastle had free kicks within striking distance of goal, quite literally dancing and waving his arms in front of the keeper to block their view.
It would be harsh to just remember his for such incidents as, in the main, he was a decent enough defender and a local lad who cared about his club.
We leave you with one of his famous lines however, an attitude that would always gain favour with the Geordie faithful: “I would rather be a stamp collector than play for Sunderland”. Well, he got that right!