Newcastle United has remained part of the top division in English football throughout almost the entirety of the club’s history. Over the years, Newcastle United has had some amazing players, but there have also been some flops. Let’s take a look at Newcastle’s history, which dates back to 1892, to find the worst signings in club history. Before we start the list, some of the players who just missed the cut include Albert Luque, Xisco, Henri Saivet, and Marcelino.
We start the list with Argentinian Christian Bassedas, a midfielder who spent a decade with his original club Velez Sarsfield. During that time, Bassedas made more than 260 league appearances and won Argetina’s top division four times while also adding a Copa Libertadores, Intercontinental Cup, and more. In 2000, Newcastle United signed Bassedas to a massive £3.5 million contract.
However, Bassedas didn’t last very long with Newcastle. Over the next three years, Bassedas made just two dozen league appearances with the club and netted a single goal. Bassedas was also loaned out to Tenerife during that time and decided to retire from football altogether at just 30 years old. During that time, Newcastle didn’t win any trophies and Bassedas didn’t earn any individual awards.
Jean-Alain Boumsong has been around the world throughout his playing career, starting with Le Havre in France by way of Cameroon. After more than 40 appearances, Boumsong headed to Auxerre for four years. Boumsong then had a brief stint with Rangers, having joined for free. That wasn’t the case for Newcastle, though, as the club gave him £8 million and a contract of over five years.
Boumsong played in 47 matches over his career with Newcastle with the defender not scoring any goals. Boumsong didn’t have any honors, and the club didn’t win any trophies. Even if he got off to a decent start, off-the-field issues kept Boumsong from playing up to his potential and things fell apart during the second year. In 2006, Boumsong was sent to Juventus before ending his career with Lyon and Panathinaikos.
Japan has produced a handful of terrific football players over the year, but not all of them have lived up to the potential they had on an international level. Yoshinori Muto is one of those players, and the Tokyo native was a standout with FC Tokyo where he netted 23 goals in his 51 league matches. After spending three years with Mainz 05, Muto was acquired by Newcastle for £9.5 million and was given a four-year deal.
The scoring dropped dramatically for Muto when he made the switch, and he netted just one goal in his 25 league appearances. During his tenure with Newcastle, Muto spent much of his time being loaned out to Eibar. In 2021, Muto signed with Vissel Kobe, making his triumphant return to Japan where he refound his form.
The top two players on the list are the only ones that are actually from England. The first is Titus Bramble, an Ipswich native who made his professional debut in his hometown where he spent four years. Bramble also made a couple of appearances for Colchester United before Newcastle United signed him to a massive £6 million contract.
Bramble was able to make more than 100 league appearances during his five years with Newcastle, but his time wasn’t as productive as the club had hoped for. The only trophy that Newcastle won during that time was the 2006 UEFA Intertoto Cup while Bramble didn’t earn any individual honors. In 2007, he joined Wigan Athletic before wrapping up his career in 2013 with Sunderland outside of one appearance with Stowmarket Town.
Of course, the top spot on the list has to belong to Michael Owen. The striker, of course, is one of the most notable players from the late 1990s and early 2000s era of English football. Owen started his career with eight years at Liverpool, netting 118 goals during his 216 Premier League matches. After spending some time with Real Madrid, Owen was acquired by Newcastle United for a record £16.8 million.
Owen suffered a lot of issues throughout his brief Newcastle career, including a broken foot and ACL injury. The time that Owen missed resulted in the club losing millions. In the end, Owen said that he regretted signing with Newcastle and that he should’ve signed with Liverpool. Owen finished how Newcastle United career with just 71 EPL matches and 26 goals. He ended his career with brief stints with Manchester United and Stoke City before his 2013 retirement.