This article forms part of our Total Duds feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how bad a deal the club got.
When Newcastle United fell out of the Premier League in 2016, the Magpies had to re-examine their playing squad for life in the Championship and out went Moussa Sissoko, Georginio Wijnaldum, Andros Townsend, Remy Cabella, Daryl Janmaat and Papiss Demba Cisse.
A new division and a heavily-reduced squad meant the Toon also had to spend some of their newly received funds to build a team that Rafa Benitez could use to secure promotion, and in came Matt Ritchie, Isaac Hayden, Dwight Gayle, Ciaran Clark, DeAndre Yedlin and Mo Diame on permanent deals.
Not all of the St. James’ Park natives’ arrivals that summer have worked out for the North East outfit, though, as they also signed Matz Sels, Grant Hanley and Achraf Lazaar, with two of those three already moved on three years later.
Hanley was particularly a total dud for United, as his spell on Tyneside lasted just one year before Newcastle agreed on terms with Norwich City to sell their £5.5million defender (Sky Sports) to the Canaries for £3.5m (Chronicle).
In those 12-months, the Scotland international made just 17 appearances across all competitions for Benitez’s side (TransferMarkt), and started just five games in the second-tier as he drifted in and out of the matchday squad.
Newcastle only kept two clean sheets when Hanley started a game in the Championship, as well, despite the Toon ending the season with the league title and the joint-best defensive record having allowed just 40 goals against them all season.
With such a poor campaign together, it was no surprise that Hanley was sold after just one season, and there should be no regrets at St. James’ Park that he has since gone on to captain Norwich as they secured their return to the Premier League.
The 27-year-old only featured in nine games for the Canaries last season as they romped to the Championship crown (WhoScored), and has made just three outings since the Carrow Road natives returned to the top-flight.
Norwich also conceded ten goals in the three league games he has played in thus far, as Hanley struggled to restrict Liverpool’s potent offence from running wild on the opening weekend, and has not been seen since facing Chelsea in August.
Newcastle’s more favoured centre-halves from the 2016/17 season Jamaal Lascelles and Clark, meanwhile, have maintained their place in and around the Toon first-team since their return to the Premier League.
Newcastle fans, where does Hanley rank among your worst transfers of the past three years? Let us know in the comments below…
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