Newcastle United's top 5 January hits - and 5 big misses

Moussa Sissoko
Moussa Sissoko

Newcastle United have been the Premier League's big spenders of the January transfer window so far, splashing £29million on three new players, with another joining on loan.

But what are the chances of the Magpies' £12million signings Jonjo Shelvey and Andros Townsend, £5million Henri Saivet and loanee Seydou Doumbia being a hit on Tyneside?

Papiss Demba Cisse

Papiss Demba Cisse

We look back at how some other January signings have fared at St James's Park - and decide whether they were hits or misses.


1. January 2013 - Moussa Sissoko £2million from Toulouse

Facing a battle against relegation from the Premier League, United owner Mike Ashley sanctioned six January signings - and the pick of them was arguably French international Sissoko.

Hatem Ben Arfa.

Hatem Ben Arfa.

He signed on a six-and-a-half-year deal, for an estimated £2million, and made an immediate impact, getting the assist for the opening goal in a 2–1 win against Aston Villa on his debut.

In his second match, his first at St James's Park, Sissoko scored the equalising and winning goals in a 3–2 comeback victory against Chelsea.

A box-to-box player, he has since made more than 100 appearances for the Magpies, and although he has struggled at times to replicate his early form, he remains a key part of the Magpies' midfield - as evidenced in his role in this season's best win, the 6-2 victory over Norwich City.

2. January 2012 - Papiss Demba Cisse £9million from SC Freiburg

Kevin Nolan.

Kevin Nolan.

Senegalese striker Cisse made his name in France with Metz and Cherbourg before joining German side SC Freiburg in 2009. ASfter averaging better than a goal every other game in the Bundesliga, he signed for Newcastle on a five-and-a-half-year deal in January 2012.

Given the famous No 9 shirt, he scored the winning goal on his debut against Aston Villa with a breath-taking volley, flicking it up with his left and volleying it with his right into the top corner. By April, he had nine goals in eight games, which made him Newcastle's most prolific goals per-game goalscorer of all-time, ahead of Hughie Gallacher.

He plundered 13 goals by the end of the season, including a spectacular strike in a 2-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge , which he described as the best of his career. It duly won the BBC's Goal of the Season as his goals helped Newcastle into fifth place.

He scored another 13 goals the following season, and although his strike rate his dipped since then due to long absences through injury and suspension, he remains the club's outstanding natural goalscorer. He is currently out injured.

Jonathan Woodgate.

Jonathan Woodgate.

3. January 2011 - Hatem Ben Arfa £5.7million from Olympique Marseille

One of the top-rated talents in France, Ben Arfa joined Newcastle in August 2010 on a season-long loan, and scored his first goal on his full debut in a 1-0 win over Everton.

He suffered a double leg-break against Manchester City in October, but the club were so impressed with the impact that he'd made that the transfer was made permanent for a fee of £5.7million in January 2011.

His rehabilitation from injury was a slow one, and Ben Arfa was a player who split fans' opinions like few others.

In January 2012 he scored a goal in a 2-1 FA Cup win over Blackburn Rovers which was described by BBC Sport as "magical", and two months later he scored an even better one in a 2-0 win against Bolton Wanderers.

Things gradually turned sour for Ben Arfa, however, and after disagreements with manager Alan Pardew over his fitness and application, he was allowed to join Hull City on loan in September 2014. That too, ended in disharmony, and in January 2015 Ben Arfa was released from his Newcastle contract, and signed a deal with Ligue 1 side Nice.

Jean Alain Boumsong

Jean Alain Boumsong

4. January 2009 - Kevin Nolan £4million from Bolton Wanderers

Nolan had made almost 300 appearance for Bolton Wanderers, where he was manager Sam Allardyce's trusted lieutenant, before falling out of favour at the Reebok Stadium.

He was signed by Joe Kinnear in January 2009, and went on to become a popular figure at Gallowgate, despite the club being relegated at the end of his first season.

One of a group of senior players who stayed after the drop, he helped Chris Hughton's side to the second-tier title in 2009-10, and was named Championship Play of the Year.

Appointed captain on the club's return to the Premier league, his finest hour came in October 2010, when he scored a hat-trick in a 5-1 win over derby rivals Sunderland.

In all, he scored 30 goals in 91 games for the Magpies, before he was allowed to leave for West Ham in the summer of 2011. He left the Hammers earlier this season, and was recently unveiled as player-manager of League Two side Leyton Orient.

5. January 2003 Jonathan Woodgate £9m from Leeds United

For a player who spent such a short time at St James's - he played only 37 times for the club - England centre-back Woodgate is remembered with surprising affection.

He made his name at Leeds United, and was sold to Newcastle for £9million in January 2003, where he immediately impressed with his calm defending and reading of the game.

Despite suffering the sort of injury problems which have blighted his career, his performances for the Magpies in the Uefa Cup attracted the attention of Spanish giants Real Madrid, who signed him for £13.4 million in August 2004.

Injuries restricted him to just 14 appearances for Los Blancos in two years, and he returned to England with Middlesbrough, Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City, before seeing out his career with hometown club Boro.


1. Jean Alain Boumsong £8million from Glasgow Rangers in January 2005

Boumsong was signed by Graeme Souness from his old club Rangers in January 2005, and it's fair to say the French centre-back was a disaster at Newcastle.

He cost £8million, and signed a five-and-a-half-year contract with the Magpies - but the fee raised eyebrows, as the player had joined Rangers for free just months before.

Known for his physical strength, pace and reading of the game, he showed few of these attributes during a torrid time on Tyneside.

He was often blamed for the conceding of several goals, and blamed the loss of form on his girlfriend's illness and other personal problems.

It was a relief to all concerned when Juventus, recently relegated from Serie A, offered £3.3million for him in August 2006. He later played for French side Lyon and the Greeks of Panathinaikos before hanging up his boots in 2013.

2. Amdy Faye - £2million from Portsmouth in January 2005

The second of three Souness January signings (the other being Celestine Babayaro, a £1million punt from Chelsea), Faye was a Senegalese defensive midfielder who joined from Premier League rivals Portsmouth.

He made his debut in a 3-1 FA Cup win over Coventry City and his first league game was a 1-1 draw at Manchester City. The following season he was sometimes used as a makeshift right winger, but he failed to impress in 31 appearances in 18 months at St James's.

He was allowed to move on to Charlton in August 2006, but they were relegated at the end of the season. After a loan at Scottish side Rangers, he joined Stoke City, and ended his career at Leeds United.

3. January 2011 - Stephen Ireland (loan) from Aston Villa

Ireland was a regular at Manchester City and earned international recognition with the Republic of Ireland before joining Aston Villa in a swap deal with James Milner in September 2010.

After a slow start to his Villa career he was signed on loan by Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew on deadline day, with a view to a permanent transfer.

However, he was already injured when he joined Newcastle and suffered a number of setbacks, including a controversial nightclub incident with teammate Leon Best the night before a match.

He finally made his debut on 19 April 2011 in a 0–0 draw with Manchester United, appearing as a 65th-minute substitute. However, after appearing only twice and playing just 49 minutes of football for the club, Ireland was ruled out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury, and was returned to Aston Villa. He was loaned to Stoke, and later signed for them permanently.

4. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa £6.7million from Montpellier in January 2013

French international Yanga-Mbiwa was one of six January signings made by Alan Pardew in January 2013 as he sought to add some depth to his squad, which was struggling to cope with the demands of a Premier league season and a Europa League campaign.

He cost an estimated £8.5 million, and signed a five-and-a-half-year deal at St James's Park, where he wore the No.13 shirt. He made his Newcastle debut on 29 January 2013 as a second-half substitute in a 2-1 win against Aston Villa.

He made 20 appearances that season, and 26 the next, but never truly settled on Tyneside, and in September 2014, he signed for Italian club Roma on a season-long loan, with an option to make the move permanent for £5.5m on top of the £1m loan fee. In January 2015 the loan became permanent, and he moved to French club Lyon in August.

5. Luuk De Jong (loan) from Borussia Mönchengladbach​ in January 2014

The younger brother of current Magpies player Siem De Jong, striker Luuk made his name at FC Twente, when Steve McClaren was the Dutch side's coach.

In July 2012 he joined Bundesliga side Borussia Mönchengladbach for £12.6m on a five-year deal, but he was loaned to Newcastle 18 months later after falling out with manager Lucien Favre.

He made his debut on 1 February 2014 in the Tyne-Wear derby against Sunderland - a game the Magpies lost 3-0. It didn't get any better - he failed to score in 12 appearances and returned to Germany at the end of the season. That summer he returned to Holland with PSV Eindhoven, where he has returned to the goals trail.

BEST OF ALL: Let's not forget that Newcastle did perhaps their best piece of January business in 2011, when they sold Andy Carroll to Liverpool for a staggering £35million.

The powerfully-built striker had only half a season in the Premier League under his belt when the Reds signed him as a replacement for Chelsea-bound Fernando Torres.

Although the Magpies have struggled for goals at times since, his career has also been blighted by injury, and Liverpool allowed him to move to West Ham for a cut-price £15million in summer 2013.

Stephen Ireland

Stephen Ireland

Luuk De Jong

Luuk De Jong

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa