Newcastle United have made several high profile signings throughout the years, bringing some of the most well-known names in football to St James’ Park.
Here, we look at the top five most expensive signings in Newcastle United’s history.
Michael Owen – £16.8 million
(From Real Madrid – August 2005)
England international Owen burst onto the scene at Liverpool as a seventeen-year-old, netting on his debut for them and from that day forward, being touted as England’s most promising prospect. He then debuted for his country as an eighteen-year-old to become the youngest England international player of the twentieth century.
Owen had already broken several records, including becoming the only England international to have scored at four consecutive major tournaments, when he moved to Spanish giants Real Madrid.
A year later, he was back in England as Newcastle paid out a club record fee of around £16.8m for him. A recent Betway blog post suggested this would be worth around £80m in the transfer market today.
He was bought as the player to fire Newcastle to the next level, but only managed to score thirty goals in seventy-nine appearances in all competitions during his time at the club.
Injuries, including one that led to a legal dispute between Newcastle and FIFA, hampered his time at Newcastle and he left to join Manchester United in 2009.
Alan Shearer – £15m
(From Blackburn Rovers – July 1996)
Hometown hero Alan Shearer had already made a name for himself at club level, with Southampton and Blackburn Rovers, and at international level with England, before joining Newcastle for a then world record fee of £15m
He had just finished top scorer of Euro ’96 and joined Newcastle with the intention of firing them to silverware. Despite becoming their all-time top scorer, with 206 goals in all competitions, Shearer couldn’t lead his club to the success he craved.
Newcastle finished second in the Premier League and reached two FA Cup finals with Shearer leading the line, but they couldn’t quite win that elusive trophy.
Georginio Wijnaldum – £14.5m
(From PSV – July 2015)
Newcastle had an awful 2014/15 season, finishing just four points above the relegation zone in fifteenth. They needed reinforcements and signed three of their five most expensive ever signings in the summer of 2015.
The first, most expensive, and most successful of the three was Dutch international Georginio Wijnaldum. He signed from PSV for £14.5m in July 2015, with the hope he could add much needed attacking creativity from midfield.
He showed his quality from his debut, providing a driving force in midfield and capping his first performance for the club with a goal. He scored a total of eleven goals in all competition but couldn’t prevent Newcastle being relegated to the Championship.
His last game for Newcastle came in a 5-1 victory over Tottenham on the last day of the 2015/16 season, with him scoring two goals. After their relegation, Wijnaldum left Newcastle to join Liverpool for an initial £23m.
Aleksandar Mitrovic – £13m
(From Anderlecht – July 2015)
Another player to join Newcastle in July 2015 was Aleksandar Mitrovic, the Serbian international striker who signed from Belgian club Anderlecht for around £13m.
Mitrovic had been top scorer in the Belgian Pro League in 2014/15 but couldn’t replicate his goal scoring form for Newcastle. He netted just nine goals in thirty-six appearances in all competitions and became the sixth player in Premier League history to score a goal, assist a goal, and be sent off in the same game on the final day of the 2015/16 campaign.
He scored four league goals in his second season at Newcastle, as the club were promoted back to the top-flight.
In the first half of the 2017/18 season, Mitrovic was given a second chance to impress in the Premier League. However, his main contribution was being suspended for elbowing an opposition player. He then suffered a back injury which sidelined him for two months, before joining Fulham on loan until the end of the season.
Florian Thauvin – £13m
(From Marseille – August 2015)
Winger Florian Thauvin joined Newcastle in August 2015 for a fee believed to have been around £13m from French club Marseille.
Thauvin had been named Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year in 2013 but had already been at the centre of controversy. After moving from Bastia to Lille in January 2013, and then returning to the former on loan until the end of that season, the player refused to train and forced through a move to Marseille without making one appearance for Lille.
This should have been enough to convince Newcastle he wasn’t worth the chance, but they took one by paying out a substantial transfer fee which proved to be a waste of money.
Thauvin made just thirteen league appearances before heading back to Marseille on loan just five months after leaving them. In August 2016, he signed another loan deal with the French side and then re-joined them on a permanent basis in the summer of 2017, for less than £10m.