Hindsight does not reflect well on the last time Newcastle United paid top dollar to sign a defender from Scotland.
Jean-Alain Boumsong will forever be remembered as one of the worst signings in Premier League history, a colossal waste of money who makes even the signings of Claudio Cacapa and David Rozenhal seem somewhat reasonable.
According to The Guardian, then Newcastle boss Graeme Souness splashed out £8 million on Rangers’ 25-year-old centre-back in the summer of 2004 – despite the fact he had moved to Glasgow on a free just a few months before.
The thought of Boumsong and Titus Bramble holding the fort at St James’ still induces nightmares in Tyneside locals. As such, he was flogged to a demoted Juventus side reeling from the Calciopoli scandal for more than half the price just two years later, as reported by The Scotsman.
And though many years have passed and the market has changed irreparably, reports in the Daily Mail that Newcastle may pay £9 million for Celtic centre-back Jozo Simunovic may raise fears of a second coming of Boumsong.
Boumsong Mk 2?
The Croatian has enjoyed a fine season under Brendan Rodgers, starting regularly at centre-half and helping the club cruise to a sixth successive Scottish Premiership crown.
However, his reported price tag appears massively overinflated – even in today’s market. And the step up from the Scottish top flight to the Premier League has arguably never been more challenging.
After all, bigger names than Simunovic have moved to England in recent seasons and struggled badly.
Therefore, perhaps Newcastle should remember bumbling Boumsong before they spend big on another Old Firm centre-back.