Newcastle United have made some dodgy transfer decisions over the years, but who have been the worst signings in the club's modern history?
Newcastle United fans have had a lot to put up with in recent times and some of the club's transfer moves over the last few years have been baffling.
For every club great there are a host of transfer flops and we're rounding up the top five least successful signings who Newcastle fans would probably rather forget.
5. Jean-Alain Boumsong (£8 million from Rangers, January 2005)
No, it's not a typo, Newcastle really did pay £8 million for Boumsong. Rangers, who'd picked the French defender up for free a few months earlier must've thought they'd won the lottery. Boumsong was incredibly error-prone, so much so that Match of the Day more or less had to have a separate section each week to analyse his mistakes. Eventually Newcastle packed him off to Juventus and fans breathed a collective sigh of relief.
4. Stephane Guivarc'h (£3.5 million from Auxerre, August 1998)
There will always be two mysteries surrounding Stephane Guivarc'h: firstly what was hiding within his surname between the 'c' and 'h' and secondly what happened to him when he moved to Newcastle. It all looked good when Guivarc'h scored on his debut against Liverpool, albeit somewhat fortunately, but that was as good as it got for him at St James' Park where he only played four league games.
3. Alan Smith (£6 million from Manchester United, August 2007)
For a brief period, Alan Smith was seen as one of England's most exciting talents, but in the end he wasn't even the best player called Alan Smith in recent times. Newcastle paid Smith £60,000 per week and got a player trying to rebuild his career as a midfielder after a horrific leg break. Smith played 84 games for Newcastle, he didn't score any goals but he did effortlessly harvest bookings.
2. Albert Luque (£9 million from Deportivo La Coruna, August 2005)
A typical Freddy Shepherd era signing, Newcastle could probably have signed Luque for £2 million, but instead they paid £9 million. Luque was a striker, but his usual position was on the treatment table. When he took a rare break from being injured, he'd play wherever he was needed - usually on the wing - and remind fans he will still there. His sole bright moment was a derby goal against Sunderland in April 2006.
1. Michael Owen (£16.8 million from Real Madrid, August 2005)
It's not Owen's fault that he spent most of his time at Newcastle injured, but that doesn't soften the blow for fans who saw 26 goals in four years. The Michael Owen of Liverpool stardom was long gone by the time he arrived at St James' Park and a generation of fans were left with replica shirts that steadily became more embarrassing.
Have something to tell us about this article?