In our Transfers that shook the club feature, Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at deals that many may not have seen coming and the impact that they had during their time by using statistical data and pundit remarks.
Remember when Newcastle United were good? Back in the days when Alan Pardew stumbled upon a goldmine of talent in the French top flight to bring the likes of Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye, Mathieu Debuchy and Moussa Sissoko to the Premier League, ‘Pards’ thought he would have another dip into Ligue 1’s finest.
Having steered the Magpies into the Europa League the year before, a struggle in the following campaign led to the need for another striker following Chelsea’s move for Demba Ba, and in January 2013, looked all but set to welcome Marseille’s Loic Remy to the side as his replacement.
And on one Sunday night in January, Newcastle were within 48 hours of confirming the Frenchman’s arrival on Tyneside, according to BBC Sport.
By Wednesday, he was a QPR player.
Despite Remy reportedly rejecting the advances of Harry Redknapp’s Hoops, the then-26-year-old became Queens Park Rangers’ record signing for £8m.
It had transpired that Remy did not travel to the North East for his Magpies medical – but instead opted to join Redknapp’s struggling side in W12.
QPR had only just got off the bottom of the table (albeit for a few hours) thanks to a weekend draw with Spurs, and looked to go for the jugular in their bid to stay up by adding a striker that had notched 22 goals in all competitions in the season before his dramatic arrival at Loftus Road.
By doubling their transfer record to land Remy, it would have been arguably understandable for the Frenchman to make an impression.
But you all know how this ends. A debut goal at West Ham United would only offer false hope as five more goals in the season’s remaining months – including one against would-be (and future) employers Newcastle – could not prevent the Hoops from propping up the table at the season’s end.
Perhaps the nature of QPR’s relegation, somewhat overshadowed by Jose Bosingwa’s laughing in the Madejski Stadium tunnel, epitomised the state of the squad by the time their fate had been sealed.
And maybe with that in mind, Remy was doomed to fail at Loftus Road, despite his surprise arrival at the club that may have renewed a sense of optimism that QPR could retain their Premier League status for a second successive campaign.
Alas, salvation never came, and although Redknapp was able to deliver a swift return to the top flight, it is unlikely that he would have topped the drama that unfolded when unveiling Remy in white and blue nearly seven years ago.
QPR fans, what are your memories of Loic Remy? Could he have done more in a Hoops shirt to keep the team in the Premier League? Join the discussion by commenting below!
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