Alan Pardew and Mike Ashley are not people considered as heroes among the St James’ Park faithful, to say the least.
However, these two got something right back in January 2012 – in fact, using the word ‘right’ would be an understatement.
While Pardew’s Newcastle were enjoying a fun campaign which saw the likes of Demba Ba, Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye star at St James’ Park, the Magpies decided to add more fuel to an already blazing fire by signing Senegal striker Papiss Cisse from SC Freiburg for just £10m.
The forward had netted 39 goals in 67 games for the Bundesliga club, which is an excellent record – however, surely nobody expected Cisse to adapt to life in the Premier League so quickly.
He smashed in a wonder-goal against Aston Villa on his debut, which was just one of 13 goals in only 14 Premier League appearances in the second half of the 2011/12 campaign – a simply absurd scoring rate.
In total, the Senegal international scored 44 goals for Newcastle in 131 games, along with ten assists.
This means that Cisse cost Ashley just £227.3k per goal during his time at St James’ Park, where he proved to be exquisite value for money and a prolific goalscorer too – also, a scorer of great goals, with that physics-defying strike against Chelsea still one which baffles us.
The former FC Metz frontman – alongside fellow Senegal international Ba, and also Cabaye and Ben Arfa – helped Newcastle finish fifth that season, qualifying for the Europa League, just four points off a Champions League place.
He truly was a bargain buy in every sense of the word, and Ashley and Pardew can always point to this deal when people question their decision making while on Tyneside.
In other news, take a look at these glowing endorsements for “Steve Bruce’s talisman”…