Newcastle United supporters have been pretty despondent in recent times after seeing their side fail to win any of their opening eight Premier League games prior to the international break.
Rafa Benitez’s men went into their encounter with Manchester United back on October 6 having picked up just two points from a possible 21 to start to the season, and thus in dire need of a positive result at Old Trafford. And in racing to a 2-0 lead after just ten minutes, things looked good for the Magpies, only to concede three times in the last 20 minutes to lose 3-2 to the North West giants, and thus suffer a sixth Premier League defeat of the season to thus remain in the division’s bottom three.
As such, there have been many frustrated Newcastle fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom have been pointing the finger at owner Mike Ashley for failing to back manager Benitez during the summer transfer window.
Yet the Magpies owner did at least get something right back in the summer of 2016 in selling Georginio Wijnaldum to Liverpool for a lucrative £25 million, this all despite spending just £14.5 million to lure him to St James’ Park just 12 months earlier.
Ultimately, the 27-year-old joined the Magpies in the summer window of 2015 as a forward from Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven, and the Netherlands international went on to produce the goods in the North East with 11 goals and five assists in just 40 appearances for Newcastle, albeit it wasn’t enough to keep them in the Premier League.
But there is little doubting, despite the many issues at St James’ Park that season, that Wijnaldum was a bright spark for the North East giants, with the 27-year-old producing the goods on a regular basis for the Magpies in a bid to keep them in the top-flight, including netting four in a 6-2 win over Norwich City back in October 2015.
And Liverpool were clearly taken aback by Wijnaldum given they then splashed out £25 million to bring the Dutchman to Anfield in the summer of 2016, a pretty hefty sum for a Championship player, and one that saw Newcastle earn a £10.5 million profit on his services.
But such has been how good Wijnaldum has been at Liverpool since his move to Merseyside little over two years ago, not least in dropping back into a more midfield role, it was money very well spent by the Reds given the 27-year-old has since become an integral part of Jurgen Klopp’s team in appearing 102 times for the club, netting nine goals and laying on 16 assists.
And from Newcastle’s point of view, they did well to make a £10.5 million profit just a year on from his arrival at St James’ Park, from which owner Ashley does at least deserve some credit especially given the Magpies were a Championship club at the time of Wijnaldum’s sale, thus likely reducing the price.
Yes, Newcastle fans will point to another transfer in which Ashley has made a profit, money which they will argue hasn’t been reinvested, but the Magpies chief did at least do something right back in 2016 in making a very tidy profit on Dutchman Wijnaldum.
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