Newcastle United part company with chief scout Graham Carr

Newcastle United part company with chief scout Graham Carr

Carr spent seven years as the Magpies’ main talent spotter.

jordan-cronin
Jordan Cronin

Newcastle United have revealed they have parted company with Chief Scout, Graham Carr.

The 72-year-old had been the club’s chief scout since the end of the 2009-10 season when the Magpies achieved promotion to the Premier League under Chris Hughton.

Carr’s position had been questioned when Rafael Benitez took control at St James’ Park last season but Carr remained on Tyneside for a further year before parting company on Wednesday.

The news will likely come as good news for the Geordie faithful with Benitez now likely to be in charge of the club’s recruitment. Carr was seen as the only hurdle preventing the Spaniard from gaining full control.

Club statement

In a brief statement released on the club's official website, Managing Director Lee Charnley said: “It has been my pleasure to work with Graham over the last seven years as both a colleague and a friend.

“He can count some of Newcastle’s most successful players in recent years as his ‘finds’," admitted Charnley.

He continued: “Everyone connected with Newcastle United wishes Graham the very best for the future.”

Newcastle then confirmed that it is “now reviewing its scouting operation and will make an announcement on any further changes in due course.”

The good

Over Carr’s seven years in the North East, the 72-year-old recommendations were seen as inconsistent among Newcastle supporters.

Impressive buys included the likes of Yohan Cabaye, Moussa Sissoko, Vurnon Anita, Mattieu Debuchy, Papiss Cisse and the late Cheick Tiote.

Cabaye was signed from Lille in 2011 for just over £4million before the Magpies made a substantial profit on the Frenchman – selling him to PSG for £20million, three years later.

History then soon repeated itself a year ago when Sissoko was sold for a huge £30million to Tottenham Hotspur having only signed for Newcastle for £1.8million in January 2013.

Debuchy spent a year and a half on Tyneside before leaving to join Arsenal in a £12million deal, which was just over double the price that he was bought for from Lille.

Although profits weren’t made on Anita, Cisse and Tiote, the trio were fantastic servants to the Magpies. 

Cisse scored 37 goals in four seasons on Tyneside before departing for Chinese side Shandong Luneng last summer. Tiote then followed the Senegalese striker to China six month later after being at the club for seven years.

Anita featured regularly for the Magpies in his five years at St James’ Park, including helping Benitez men bounce back to the top-flight at the first attempt in May. 

The bad

However, Carr’s time at Newcastle is possibly overshadowed by the signings he did get wrong. The 72-year-old was prominent in France, and throughout his time scouting there, some signings are rightly labelled as disastrous.

Remy Cabella and Florian Thauvin were both signed from France but were quickly shipped back to their native country.

Cabella, who signed from Montpellier for £12million in 2014, only lasted one season in England as he was sent to Marseille on loan in 2015 – they then activated a permanent deal for the winger in 2016.

Still, Carr was not to be frightened of returning to France as he secured the signing of Thauvin from Les Olympiens when Steve McClaren was in charge. But after an unimpressive 16 appearances in black and white, the 24-year-old is regarded as one of the Magpies’ biggest flops having been sent back to Marseille just six months after moving to England.

Other unconvincing signings include Sylvain Marveaux, Romain Amalfitano, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Emmanuel Riviere and Henri Saivet.

Riviere and Saivet remain on the books of Newcastle despite having loan spells away from St James’ Park last season. The pair will return to Tyneside for pre-season though they’ll be expected to be permanently moved on. 

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