It’s therefore nothing short of a miracle that they ended up with such a lethal strike force for some time, when they combined the talents of Papiss Cisse with Demba Ba to set the Premier League alight.
After shipping off local hero Andy Carroll for £36m in January of 2011, things looked bleak on Tyneside as many may have questioned where the goals might come from. Some fans were once again furious with Mike Ashley, who found his replacement in the free agent market just six months later.
Ba, who had previously been at West Ham United, was snapped up in the summer of 2011 after rejecting an offer from the Hammers. Newcastle went six months reliant on just one man, but they would then invest £10m the following January to find his strike partner, signing Senegalese compatriot Cisse from Freiburg.
The coalition was complete, and throughout a 2011/12 season where the Magpies finished fifth, the two forwards would excel.
Ba scored 16 goals in 34 league appearances in that campaign and was supplemented by the mid-season injection of his compatriot. Cisse bagged a sensational 13 goals in 14 appearances, propelling them to European football.
There have seldom been two players join in such close proximity who have had such a monumental impact on one club, and in Newcastle’s current youth academy, Eddie Howe might seek to replicate this impact with a pair of youngsters who are also firing in the goals in for fun.
Dylan Stephenson is arguably the standout forward from the academy, with 38 goals across numerous appearances for both the under-18s and under-21s. This season alone, he already has four goals in seven Premier League 2 games.
The 19-year-old has been lauded for more than just his goalscoring too, and similar to the Senegalese strike force of old, his work rate has been praised.
His former Newcastle under-18s coach Neil Winskill was full of praise for him, saying: “I’m thrilled for Dylan because he is such an honest, hard-working lad. He’s the type of player any team would like to have in their XI, who’s going to really put a shift in for you.”
To partner Stephenson with someone like fellow teenager Michael Ndiweni, who has scored 20 goals at youth level, could be a masterstroke.
The pair have 58 goals combined in the youth ranks and seem to be knocking on the door for a chance in the first team.
Perhaps Howe could turn to the young duo as Callum Wilson continues to age; and if they could convert this partnership that they seem to have struck in the academy into senior football, it could once again be the catalyst to return Newcastle to Europe in the manner that Ba and Cisse did a decade ago.