Newcastle have the knack of buying a player with a stellar reputation across Europe and turning them into a nobody. I like to call it: “The Newcastle Effect.”
Hugo Viana experienced serious symptoms of “The Newcastle Effect’ from which he never fully recovered. Bobby Robson signed Hugo Viana in 2002 for £8.5million from Portuguese side Sporting CP, fighting off Liverpool and Celta Vigo in the process.
Viana was crowned Young European Player of the year in 2002, grabbing a lot of attention as a hot prospect for future. Football expert Freddy Shepherd rated Viana quite highly: “The general consensus of opinion is that he’s the best young player in the world at the moment.”
Hugo found it hard to break into the Newcastle first team with Jermaine Jenas, Kieron Dyer and Gary Speed all on decent form. Worse was the fact that Viana could not adjust to the physical English game and it looked at though his move to the Premier League had come too early in the midfielder’s career.
Viana became an expensive bench player for Newcastle, amassing only 39 appearances in three years, and scoring just four goals. The player was shipped off on loan back to Sporting CP for a season in 2004, and was ‘snapped up’ by Valencia for £1.5million in 2005. Unable to make an impact for Valencia in his five year tenure, Viana was sent out on loan twice. His loan move to Braga became permanent earlier in the year, but has made only one appearance so far this season.
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