Newcastle United's top five record transfers before Miguel Almiron

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NEWCASTLE UNITED'S TOP FIVE RECORD TRANSFERS BEFORE MIGUEL ALMIRON

It’s finally happening. After 13-and-a-half years, Newcastle United are going to break their transfer record.

Mike Ashley isn’t known as the most free-spending of owners in the Premier League, something which has grown to become a huge irritant to both the club’s fanbase and Rafa Benitez alike.

However, the club are now going to splash out £20m to sign Atlanta United midfielder Miguel Almiron, with it being the biggest fee the Magpies have spent on a player since signing Michael Owen from Real Madrid in 2005.

Newcastle fans have been begging for some investment over the years and they have finally got it, but how have the club fared previously when spending big on players?

Take a look at the top five transfer fees they have spent on players and their fortunes during their time at St. James’ Park.

MICHAEL OWEN - £16M

Michael Owen’s signing brought real buzz to the city of Newcastle, having returned back to the Premier League a year after departing Liverpool for Real Madrid. Newcastle beat off competition for the Reds to Owen’s signature, after outbidding the Merseyside outfit and paying a club record £16m for him.

Very few would’ve anticipated it taking until 2019 for the club to surpass the fee paid for the England international back in the summer of 2005, particularly with some of the players Newcastle had signed to that point.

Ultimately, Owen’s spell at St. James’ Park proved to be a frustrating one, despite getting off to a promising start. Owen scored on just his second appearance for the club, whilst also netting a perfect hat-trick against West Ham before being injured at the end of December, breaking his metatarsal.

He did return at the end of the 2005/06 season just in time to be fit for England’s World Cup campaign, but it was there he suffered a devastating cruciate ligament injury, from which he never really was able to recover.

Owen did go on to score 23 goals in his final two campaigns as a Newcastle player, but is ultimately remembered as a villain at St. James’ Park, as they were relegated at the end of the 2008/09 campaign and he left to join Manchester United.

Michael Owen Alan Shearer

ALAN SHEARER - £15M

Before Owen, Alan Shearer was the most expensive player in the history of Newcastle United and there are few-to-no occasions in the north east where money has been better spent.

Following an incredible summer that saw him win the Golden Boot at Euro 96, Shearer became a target of both Newcastle and Manchester United but picked the former, who were his hometown team growing up.

Whilst he would’ve won more trophies had he linked up with Sir Alex Ferguson, there is no way he would’ve achieved the God-like status at Old Trafford that stays with him to this day at St. James’ Park.

Shearer was a relentless scorer for Newcastle, netting a club record 206 goals in 405 games across 10 seasons and would’ve had more if it weren’t for some serious injuries in his time at the club.Incredibly, a 1996 transfer remains the third-highest in the history of Newcastle and at the time was a world record fee.

However, it is undoubtedly the greatest transfer the club has ever pulled off, despite it somehow not leading to any silverware.

Alan Shearer Newcastle

GEORGINIO WIJNALDUM - £14.5M

The next three players all came in the same transfer window, prior to the club’s relegation from the Premier League.

Yes, Mike Ashley once spent over £40m in one summer window - and gave Steve McClaren of all people the keys to spend it on and that perhaps is the reason why he is now too scared to spend so freely.

He returned to the Eredivisie to pick up Gini Wijnaldum, who turned out to be a solid player for Newcastle - at least when he was playing at St. James’ Park. The Dutch international scored 11 Premier League goals throughout the campaign, all of which came at home as he bizarrely failed to score away from home.

The highlight of Wijnaldum’s time at Newcastle came as he bagged a four-goal haul against Norwich City in a 6-2 home win at St. James’ Park, though he was never really used to his full potential.

The 28-year-old was often used as a winger during his Newcastle career and has since gone on to flourish at Liverpool playing as a central midfielder, joining them for £25m in 2016.

Wijnaldum

ALEKSANDAR MITROVIC - £13M

There have been plenty of occasions this season where Newcastle have been crying out for a player like Aleksandar Mitrovic to lead their line, particularly when Salomon Rondon isn’t fit to start up front.

Mitrovic came to Newcastle in the summer of 2015 and was an instant hit with the Newcastle fans for his raw ability and complete s**thousery.

However, he never really managed to win the trust of manager Rafa Benitez in his time as Newcastle boss, with the Serb being unable to win his place back in the side despite their relegation to the Championship.

Mitrovic dropped below Dwight Gayle below the pecking order of strikers at the club, while Joselu also pipped him in the queue after the club won promotion back to the Premier League. Newcastle’s no.45 scored just four goals during their promotion campaign.

After a quiet first half of last season, he was sent out on loan to Fulham and immediately hit the ground running, scoring 12 in 17 games and now plays his football permanently at Craven Cottage in the Premier League.

Mitrovic

FLORIAN THAUVIN - £12M

Finally, the last player on our list is one who failed to have any real impact during his short stint at Newcastle United.

Florian Thauvin arrived in the north east with a reputation for being a big talent, having impressed during his time in Ligue 1 with Marseille. Unfortunately for Newcastle, this French deal - with the club historically buying well in this market - was more Sylvain Marveaux than Yohan Cabaye.

Bizarrely, McCLaren never really gave Thauvin an extended opportunity in the first team at Newcastle, while Benitez never got to have his hands on him before he went back to Marseille six months after leaving.

Clearly it is a place in which he feels comfortable, as the France international went back to his former side and flourished, since developing into one of the top talents amongst a supreme generation of French players.

Thauvin scored 22 goals in Ligue 1 last season, thus forcing his way into Didier Deschamps’ 23-man squad for the 2018 World Cup, as France went on to become crowned world champions after beating Croatia in the final.

Thauvin Marseille

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