£8.5 million Newcastle United flop 'put up for sale' in Portugal

Sir John Hall Stand Newcastle

Former Newcastle United man Hugo Viana has reportedly been put on the market by Braga.

One of the most frustrating things for supporters to see is when a player of undoubted talent fails to show his potential and repay faith shown in him by the club.

And more than most, Newcastle United fans have had to witness this plenty of times over the years, with Albert Luque and Mark Viduka to name just two.

Another who was given star billing, and couldn't match the hype, was Portuguese 'next big thing', Hugo Viana.

In similar circumstances to Cristiano Ronaldo, Viana left Sporting Lisbon at just 19-years-old back in 2002, tempted by the riches and chances of becoming famous in England's Premier League.

But unlike the now Real Madrid ace, Viana failed to seize his opportunity, scoring just four goals in two seasons for the Toon and returned to Sporting on loan.

He soon moved on permanently, signing with Valencia in Spain, but this was to be another ill-fated spell, and it was only when he signed on loan with Braga where he would settle.

By time they signed him permanently it was 2010, and Viana has enjoyed several productive seasons with the club, playing in the Champions League against both Arsenal and Manchester United.

This season he has scored eight goals for the Portuguese club from central midfield, and provided three assists, which is a reversal in trend from his previous campaign, where he scored fewer; five goals, but provided 11 assists.

Now reports in Portugal have named Viana as one of five players Braga are to put up for sale this summer as the amble towards a fourth placed finish, a campaign in which they appear to miss out on the third Champions League spot, to unfancied Pacos de Ferreira, who will enter the qualifying pot instead.

Aged 30, Viana still has plenty to offer, and a record of 13 goals and 14 assists across his last two seasons shows he can be a valuable contributor.

The question is just whether he will opt for the comfort of a Portuguese club, or opt for an adventure abroad an attempt to become a success outside his homeland at last. Better late than never, as they say.

Newcastle fans what do you remember of Viana?

 

image: © mickyb59

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch