Belfast Telegraph

Newcastle's signings - the hits and the misses of a relegation season

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley loosened the purse strings when he sanctioned major investment in the squad for this season, but the team have been relegated from the Barclays Premier League.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at what value he got for his money.

GEORGINIO WIJNALDUM - £14.5million from PSV Eindhoven

Holland international Wijnaldum announced himself in style with a debut goal against Southampton and then blasted himself into the affections of the black and white faithful with a four-goal haul in their first league win of the season, a 6-2 demolition of Norwich. However, his influence has been minimal during the second half of the campaign.

Verdict: Jury out

ALEKSANDAR MITROVIC - £13million from Anderlecht

Raw and at times ill-disciplined, young Serbia international Mitrovic initially struggled with the responsibility of providing the main goal threat and although he has settled since, he remains a work in progress.

Verdict: Jury out

CHANCEL MBEMBA - £8million from Anderlecht

A physical defender who started life on Tyneside impressively before injury and dwindling confidence interrupted his progress, Mbemba has been one of the few positives in a dreadful season.

Verdict: Hit

FLORIAN THAUVIN - £12million from Marseille

When Remy Cabella proved incapable of coping with the physical demands of the Premier League, Newcastle turned to a weaker, less naturally talented player in Thauvin to replace him, with predictable results.

Verdict: Miss

HENRI SAIVET - £5million from Bordeaux

Signed in anticipation of Cheick Tiote's seemingly impending departure in January, Saivet has been involved only fleetingly as the Ivory Coast international remained with the club.

Verdict: Jury out

JONJO SHELVEY - £12million from Swansea

Steve McClaren installed January signing Shelvey as his captain in the absence of the injured Fabricio Coloccini after impressive displays in victory in each of his first two home games, but he has struggled to make an impression since and has played only brief cameo roles under Rafael Benitez.

Verdict: Jury out

ANDROS TOWNSEND - £12million from Tottenham

Townsend's pace and invention have added something to Newcastle and he contributed more than most to a growing sense of optimism as the season approached its conclusion, although his continued presence in the wake of relegation is by no means certain.

Verdict: Hit

SEYDOU DOUMBIA - Loan from Roma

Having failed to sign a proven goalscorer, the Magpies opted for the sticking plaster approach when they brought Doumbia in on a short-term deal, but neither Steve McClaren nor replacement Rafael Benitez saw enough in the player to use him to any meaningful extent.

Verdict: Miss


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