Five successful Newcastle United January transfer window signings

Ex-Newcastle United skipper Kevin Nolan
Ex-Newcastle United skipper Kevin Nolan
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Newcastle United haven’t always got it right when they’ve opened their cheque book in January.

But here’s five deals which can be arguably be labelled successes.

Jonathan Woodgate joins hometown club Middlesbrough. Picture: PA.

Jonathan Woodgate joins hometown club Middlesbrough. Picture: PA.

Jonathan Woodgate

Bought for £9m from debt-ridden Leeds in 2003 with - younger readers might find this hard to believe - money earned from their Champions League run.

Woodgate proved an assured signing at first and helped Sir Bobby Robson’s side reach the competition’s qualifiers for the second season in a row.

His only full term, however, proved anything but and was punctuated with the frequent injuries which would blight the rest of his career.

Andros Townsend and Rafa Benitez. Is a reunion on the cards?

Andros Townsend and Rafa Benitez. Is a reunion on the cards?

The cultured Middlesbrough-born central defender was surprisingly transferred in August 2004 for £13m and promptly spent a year on the treatment table before marking his debut with an own goal and a red card.

Kevin Nolan

Most Newcastle fans would have gladly escorted the £4m signing off the Gallowgate premises after a goalless first four months ended with his new club’s relegation from the Premier League.

Yet the former Bolton Wanderers star was a revelation in the Championship and continued his goal-scoring exploits when Chris Hughton’s side returned to the top flight at the first time of asking.

The Scouser is most fondly remembered for his hat-trick against Sunderland in Newcastle’s last home victory over Sunderland in October 2010.

He then repeated his trademark chicken dance celebrations three months later when he scored in the 1-1 return at the Stadium of Light.

Nolan moved to West Ham United for a similar fee six months later and is now sporting black and white again as player-manager of Notts County.

Peter Lovenkrands

Joe Kinnear isn’t held in too high regard on Tyneside after his foul-mouthed spell as interim manager during the 2008-09 relegation campaign.

But you can make a case for judging all three of his January signings as successes.

As well as Nolan there was Ryan Taylor - he of “over the wall” fame during Newcastle’s last victory over Sunderland in 2011 - and some bloke “on a free from Germany” called Peter Lovenkrands.

The Danish international netted three times in the battle against relegation before adding another 26 goals across three seasons after re-signing on a longer deal in August 2009.

As the terrace song would later proclaim: “We got him on a free from nobody, Peter Lovenkrands.”

Papiss Cisse

Yes, Papiss Cisse. While his final four years on Tyneside may have been inconsistent, his first four months were nothing short of sensational.

Cisse initially popped them in from all angles with both feet as Newcastle vainly chased a Champions League place during the 2011-12 season.

The £9m signing from German club Freiburg scored 13 goals in his first 13 games with a swerving finish at Chelsea among several highlights.

The goals alas slowed as the offide decisions against him increased and there were not too many tears when he joined China’s footballing revolution for a reputed £4m last summer.

Dwight Gayle beware.

Andros Townsend

Deprived of regular football at Tottenham Hotspur, the winger thrived under both Steve McLaren and then Rafa Benitez after a £12m move in January last year.

Thirteen games and four goals later he returned to Crystal Palace for £13m to supposedly secure his England interational place after Newcastle’s relegation.

Unable this term to even secure his Palace place under former Newcastle managers Alan Pardew and Sam Allardyce, he may yet make another one of his twisting runs back up the A1 to Gallowgate by 11pm tonight.

Watch this space.

Now read about five January transfers which didn’t succeed