As we hurtle towards the slamming-shut of the 2022 Summer Transfer Window, now would seem an apt time to look back at some of the very late signings Newcastle have made over the years.
If you think we're quiet on deadline day, think again...
Perhaps not last-minute with this Norweigan defender but when Graeme Souness replaced Sir Bobby Robson in the Newcastle dugout, the Scot worked quickly to add to his backline. Johnsen joined on a free having been released from Aston Villa, but the ex-Man Utd man failed to make an impression, with the likes of Andy O'Brien and Titus Bramble routinely preferred.
The Owen transfer is well-remembered by most Newcastle fans, but accounts from the day of his remarkable unveiling state that hundreds of fans were also chanting Nobby's name, with Souness giddily egging them on in front of the Chairman. By the end of the day, Solano joined Owen as a second deadline-day arrival, to the surprise and delight of most.
A transfer window that promised much after the signings of Obafemi Martins and Damien Duff soon became thoroughly disappointing when French duo Sibierski and Bernard arrived at the finale. The summer had promised the likes of Dirk Kuyt, Miroslav Klose and Jermain Defoe in addition to Martins so few expected Man City striker Sibierski turning up. It worked out pretty well; Le Sib endeared himself to the Toon Army with some memorable goals, particularly in the UEFA Cup. The less said about Ollie Bernard's appearance-free second stint, the better.
We all know the story here; there's no use labouring over it yet again. If you want to know more, we suggest having a look on YouTube.
An understated signing that was more about enabling a thoroughly miffed Charles Insomnia/N'Zogbia a way out of the club; the Taylor transfer would at least prevent him from scoring free-kicks against the Magpies in future fixtures against Wigan. The Liverpool lad played over 100 games for Newcastle, scoring ten goals, including one that memorably went over the wall...
When popular left-back Jose Enrique acrimoniously chose Anfield over St James' Park for the 2011/12 season, Graham Carr daringly provided the tactically-hapless Alan Pardew with a right-footed left-back in Davide Santon. The former Inter Milan defender never fully settled at United but had his moments. Elliot, meanwhile, was comfortably the longest-standing member of the squad by the time he left in 2020 but never established himself as a regular in-between the posts.
One of these players went on to become one of the most popular Newcastle players of the last five years; the other barely kicked a ball. Whilst Algerian Slimani had an injury-ravaged loan spell from Leicester, Dubravka has proved himself to be one of the better goalkeepers in the Premier League era for the Toon. With the Slovakian stopper apparently on his way out of the club this summer, we've the opportunity to remember his magnificent debut shortly after arriving in January 2018. A tremendous 1-0 win against Man Utd was one of Rafa Benitez's better days as Newcastle coach, and it wouldn't have happened without Dubs. Surely one of the most impressive goalie debuts in the club's history?
Things were looking grim before Rafa finally got his man in Wor Miggy in January 2019. Almirón filled what was very much an 'Almirón-shaped' hole in the team that year, finally allowing the likes of Salomon Rondon and Ayoze Perez to find a bit of space at the top end of the pitch with his pace and unpredictability. He's had his poorer moments in black and white but no one will begrudge him his resurgence this year under Eddie Howe.
Under the dreadful Steve Bruce, United hadn't won in 11 games before young Joe came along and seemed to single-handedly dig the Geordie boss out of the hole he'd dug for himself during 'the COVID season.' His outrageous form was never likely to be sustainable and it remains to be seen if the ex-Arsenal man can nail-down a regular starting berth in Howe's evolution of the team.
Any Newcastle fan feeling anxious about the prospect of United not making signings during transfer windows ought to remind themselves of January's transfer crescendo. Bruno, Burn and Targett have each been phenomenal signings who instantly made a difference to the team. If those signings are anything to go by, this Thursday looks very promising indeed...