Not even a derby goal was enough to rescue the bog-standard Newcastle United career of Albert Luque.
Sometimes big moves just do not work out for players. Indeed, we have seen it over and over again through the years, someone moving to the Premier League all excited like a child on their first school trip, only for that child to then realise that the bus has taken them ten minutes down the road to the local park to analyse the properties of dog stool. Enthusiasm very quickly turns to misery.
Albert Luque arrived for £9.5million from Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna back in August 2005 full of anticipation and wonderment for the challenges that lay ahead of him. He told the club’s website (via BBC Sport): “I’m very happy. I am looking forward to playing with Alan Shearer,” adding, “I’m excited. It’s a great place to play. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Newcastle fans.”
Ah, you little fibber, Luque, you.
Despite being touted as the solution to their forward woes by then manager Graeme Souness, the Spaniard started just six Premier League games and scored a pitiful three goals in 34 appearances in all competitions – worlds away from the 11 he had claimed for Deportivo the previous season.
Albert Luque’s one saving grace was the goal he scored in Newcastle’s 4-1 victory over bitter rivals Sunderland means he’s still fondly referred to in away games up and down the country.
The chant of: “1-0 down, 4-1 up, Albert Luque wrapped it up!” was even bellowed out during Newcastle Under-23’s emphatic victory over the Blackcats in the Premier League international cup.
Admittedly his form was not helped by the fact that he was injured in his second league appearance leaving him on the side-lines for three months, and when he returned he did so to Glen Roeder – who, like everyone else, spotted that Luque was way behind the pace.
Luque has since claimed that he never wanted to move to a “town I knew nothing about” but in typical Godfather style was made an offer “too good to refuse” (we doubt Souness was going to butcher him or his family, but you never know – there’s got to be a reason he’s that miserable). So we can kind of understand why his form wasn’t all that great. Although we maintain it was desperately poor form on his part not to give his all.
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