Newcastle's 10 best signings under Mike Ashley
Photo Credit:(Gettyimages/Serena Taylor)

Newcastle's 10 best signings under Mike Ashley

The Magpies have found some gems under Ashley which have seen them turn over a huge profit as well as on-field success.

aaron-hindhaugh
Aaron Hindhaugh

Newcastle United have not spent a lot of money compared to other teams under Mike Ashley.

However, they have come across a number of great signings, many of them relatively unknown before making the switch to Tyneside.

Yesterday we took a look at the 10 worst signings during the Ashley era, below will be the top 10 best signings under the current owner.

10. Martin Dubravka

Having only arrived in January 2018 for the Slovakian international to make this list shows the impact he has made.

Dubravka arrived as an unknown player from Sparta Prague on an initial loan and signed that summer for £4 million and has improved the entire team.

The 'keeper made a stunning debut against Manchester United pulling off two world-class saves from Anthony Martial and Michael Carrick.

Since joining the Magpies Dubravka has gone from strength to strength and has been linked with a move to Juventus and Paris Saint Germain.

He is a commanding figure at the back as well as keeping his defence organised and you can hear him screaming at the backline for 90 minutes. 

9. Cheik Tiote

The Ivory Coast international will forever be in Premier League for his equalising goal against Arsenal in that 4-4 draw.

However, his first two seasons for the Magpies saw him linked with a £30 million move to Chelsea.

Tiote was arguably the best defensive midfielder in the league during his first two seasons, striking up a superb partnership with a French midfielder.

The Ivorian imposed himself on players which made him very feared by oppositions up and down the country.

He sadly passed away in 2017 while playing his football in China, but he will forever be remembered as one of the Magpies' greatest ever defensive midfielders.

The way he broke up plays, sprung counter-attacks and stook to what he knew he was best at.

8. Ayoze Perez

Perez was signed to be apart of the Magpies under23 squad, however, the 21-year old was thrust into the first-team squad that same season.

The Spaniard frustrated fans more than any other player in the last 10 years as everyone knew he had the talent to play for a top-six side.

However, he failed to consistently show his talent until the final two seasons where he finished top scorer both seasons.

A low centre of gravity and calm on the ball allowing him to glide past defenders with ease which attracted interest from many teams.

Perez made things look effortless on the pitch compared to other players that cost more than the £2 million he cost.

7. Georginio Wijnaldum

He was only on Tyneside for the one season, however, the Dutch international showed what he was capable of.

Wijnaldum was the one that got away from the Magpies because if they stayed up he would have stayed and under Benitez he would have thrived.

Wijnaldum hit double figures, despite the Magpies being relegated and showed what kind of player could do well at Newcastle.

The Magpies would love to have a player of Gini's quality and passion in their side as he was adored by the fans and gave them a reason to cheer.

This mainly came during his four-goal haul against Norwich City.

6. Demba Ba 

Ba arrived on a free transfer after suffering relegation with West Ham United and he turned out to be the best striker/finisher at the club for several years.

The Senegalese international had everything pace, power an eye for goal which made him one of the deadliest strikers in England.

He initially struggled which he put down to Ramadam, however, his first goal came in a 3-1 win over Blackburn Rovers where he scored all three goals.

He became the first player to score a Premier League hat-trick at the Britannia Stadium, however, after managing 29 goals in 54 appearances for the Magpies the worst thing possible happened.

Ba had an £8 million release clause in his contract which Chelsea activated and Ba's head was turned by the money, which he later admitted regretting.

He was an adopted Geordie from the moment he started banging in the goals for the Magpies and always spoke highly of the fans and still does in any interviews that he mentions the Newcastle fans and stadium.

5. Matt Ritchie

The Scottish winger was signed by Rafa Benitez and there is not a player that sums up how the Spaniard wanted his side to play more than Ritchie.

He epitomises what the current group of players are about at Newcastle they care about the club and what they lack in ability is more than made up for in fight and desire.

He has already paid back his £12 million price tag with a number of crucial goals against Arsenal, Man United, Manchester City and Burton Albion.

Ritchie has adapted well to any position he has been asked to operate in under two different managers as well as dominating the Championship but somehow missing out on the player of the season.

The winger gives his all for the club and understands what it means to fans that all players give 100% every game which makes him such an important signing under Ashley.

4. Jamaal Lascelles

The one player that single-handedly began to turn Newcastle into the team they are now, one that fights and has the desire to give their all.

Lascelles famously had a rant after Newcastle's losses away to Southampton and Everton the season they were relegated.

It was directed at the high earners and the players that were just using the club as a stepping stone and the young centre back was not happy with that.

He demanded more from every player in that squad and Benitez took note and made him captain the following season.

Lascelles' rise has been nothing short of meteoric going from fringe player to club captain in one breakout season and has not looked back since.

3. Hatem Ben Arfa

The silky Frenchman was an artist with the ball you just have to look at the goals he scored the Magpies to see how big of a talent Ben Arfa was.

Ben Arfa scored two of the most amazing solo goals seen at St James' Park against Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers respectively.

Ben Arfa was a player that got fans off their seats at any given moment as he was always looking to go forward and attacking the full-back.

A bitter end to his career on Tyneside after a bust-up with Alan Pardew saw him exiled and sent out on loan to Hull City.

On his day the winger could glide past any defender and give them a torrid 90 minutes with his skills and close dribbling ability.

A real talent on the pitch and someone who loved playing for the club as he once said 'They encourage me and make me do more by saying go, go, go'.

2. Jonjo Shelvey

If the England international decided to not stay on with the Magpies during their season in the Championship they may still be there now.

Shelvey has his critics but the way he pulled the strings during that campaign illustrated why he is regarded as one of the best passers of the ball in England.

The midfielder added goals to his game during the 2016/17 season and demonstrated what he was capable of.

Despite becoming more of a squad player in the last year, Shelvey was a pivotal member of Benitez's squad that won the Championship and alongside Dwight Gayle, Newcastle fans must be grateful.  

1. Yohan Cabaye

The best signing under Mike Ashley, the best French international to arrive during the Magpies' 'French revolution'.

Cabaye could do things with a football that many players could never dream of doing and he made it look flawless and effortless.

He managed 18 goals in 93 appearances, however, it was everything else he did for the side.

He could collect the ball from deep and dictate the play, but he could also arrive late into the box causing headaches for defenders and midfielders.

The French international scored memorable goals including a stunning 30-yards free-kick against Man United as well as the winning goal in a 1-0 win at Old Trafford, their first since 1973.

Despite the end of his career on Tyneside ended bitterly as he looked to force a move away from St James' Park, however, he should be remembered for everything he did on the pitch which was magical.

He eventually got his move to a Champions League club as he moved back to France to play for PSG where he won the league.

Cabaye was a magician on the ball and made the Magpies tick which allowed Newcastle to make a successful push for the Europa League.

Honourable mention

Andros Townsend was only at the club for five months but he connected with the fans immediately showing passion and the courage to deal with the pressure.

The England international attempted to save the Magpies almost on his own which was highlighted by his terrific free-kick against Palace.

Townsend ran over to the fans ecstatic after scoring such an important goal.

Benitez attempted to persuade the winger to stay on for the battle in the Championship but moved onto pastures new but always holds Newcastle close to his heart and frequently shows his admiration for the club and fans.

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