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Newcastle played a transfer masterclass with Moussa Sissoko

Newcastle United supporters enjoyed a day to remember in October 2021 as they gathered en masse outside of St. James’ Park to celebrate PIF’s takeover of the club.

The Saudi Arabian consortium took control of the Magpies from Sports Direct supremo Mike Ashley for £305m, ending his reign in charge that began in 2007.

Ashley led the Toon army to two relegations from the Premier League and put the club up for sale in 2008 and 2017 before eventually selling to PIF last year.

At the time of the takeover, a survey by the Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust revealed that 93.8% of members were in favour of the change in ownership, which illustrated their feelings towards their former owner.

However, Ashley did have a few highlights during his time on Tyneside, particularly when it came to making a profit on selling players.

One gem the Englishman played a masterclass with was central midfielder Moussa Sissoko as he made an enormous amount of money from the sale of the French talent.

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The club moved to sign him from French side Toulouse in January 2013 for a fee in the region of £2.2m. He had played over 200 games for the Ligue 1 outfit and was a full international for France before arriving in England and hit the ground running for Newcastle as he instantly became a key player for the club.

In three-and-a-half seasons for the Magpies, he played 133 matches – with 118 of those coming in the Premier League – and chipped in with 12 goals and 19 assists.

Sissoko caught the eye in his final campaign for the Toon as he registered seven assists and created 10 ‘big chances’ in 37 top-flight outings, creating 1.6 chances per game from central midfield.

These statistics are particularly impressive when you consider that Allan Saint-Maximin, Newcastle’s main creator last season, managed five assists, seven ‘big chances’ created and 1.4 key passes per match in the Premier League in 2021/22.

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His performances, and the club’s relegation in 2016, led to him earning a big-money move to Tottenham in the summer of 2016 as he pushed to leave to maintain his place in the France set-up.

The gem, who Stan Collymore claimed could be a “monster” at Spurs, joined the London club for a reported fee of £30m, rejecting Everton to seal a move to the Lillywhites.

This means that Newcastle made a 1264% profit on the initial £2.2m they spent to sign him in 2013.

Therefore, Ashley pulled off a masterclass with Sissoko as he made £27.8m off the gem whilst getting over three years of regular Premier League game time from him. For any faults the fans may have seen in him, the Sports Direct boss certainly played a blinder with this particular deal.