Before Mike Ashley took over the boardroom at St James’ Park, Newcastle United knew how to spend money on players.
More often than not, average players would make the move to the Magpies with a hefty, questionable price tag, quite notably due to managers such as Kenny Dalglish and Ruud Gullit.
While the chairman is still there after around 12 years, Newcastle have seen what was once a historic club plunge under his reign. They now struggle in the Premier League, often threatened with relegation battles and fail to make a significant run in domestic competitions.
After many risky signings and unjustified price tags, it has led to an interesting list of players who have failed to make an impact at St James’ Park.
Here are five of the biggest flops to ever put on, or in some cases not at all, the famous black and white stripes in recent history.
Brought in by Dennis Wise, Nile Ranger looked promising after a series of performances for the youth squad and eventually for the first team.
However, after a number of unsuccessful loan spells away, injuries, and controversies off the pitch, Ranger left the club in 2013. In 2016, he was charged with money laundering crimes.
After being released by Paris St Germain, the French attacking midfielder made a promising start when Newcastle picked him up on a free transfer; he scored a screamer against Watford on his debut.
However, after the introduction of Wayne Routledge the following January, he was slowly phased out of the squad before being released.
The Spanish midfielder signed for Newcastle in 2008 for a reported fee of £7 million, however never reached the hype that Newcastle fans were expecting.
In total, he made 11 appearances for the club and only found the back of the net once.
Luuk de Jong
The Dutch striker joined Newcastle on loan in the winter transfer window of 2014, from parent club Borussia Monchengladbach.
In his 12 games for the club, he failed to register any goals at all.
Joining on a free transfer from Reims in 2012, the French attacker didn’t make a single domestic appearance for the Magpies. The right winger ended up joining Dijon on a season-long loan, to eventually remain there permanently.
In 2007, The Guardian described Luque as an “overpaid invisible Iberian space-waster”. After a teeth-gritting £9.5 million price tag, it only took the Spanish midfielder two games to get injured. After this, he made 34 appearances for the Magpies and scored three goals in total.