Remember Nacho Gonzalez? Of course you do, although not for his footballing ability I am sure but rather his role in the exit of Kevin Keegan from the club. Apparently signed off the back of YouTube evidence, against the wishes of KK and as a favour to South American agents by then Director of Football Dennis Wise and Mike Ashley; the ‘Cockney Mafia’ as they were soon dubbed his signing was the straw that broke the horses back.
Keegan left and received a sizeable pay-out for breach of contract. But this wasn’t the only disaster signing Dennis Wise bought to St James Park.
A Spanish under-21 international who had been bagging goals in La Liga and available at an initial price of £5.7 million you would be forgiven for thinking this snip was too good to be true. As a learned scholar once said if it smells like ‘camel spit’ then it probably is ‘camel spit’ and the career of Xisco at Newcastle United is fabled to go down as historically one of the worst buys in Newcastle or Premier League history.
Yet there is hope, after making his first appearance for Newcastle’s reserves since 2011 earlier in the month at Villa Park the 26-year-old, who was signed in 2008 from Deportivo La Coruna, bagged a hat-trick against Stoke reserves in a 5-1 victory on Monday night.
He stated after the game:
'Maybe there is a happy chapter still to come for me with Newcastle. In football, these things can happen – all I can do is try my best. We’ll see after that what happens.'
As much as you kind of have to admire the serial loanee’s moxy most football fans will surely predict his career on the North-East going in only one direction. At the moment he is most probably the clubs sixth striker option with Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse, Shola Ameobi, Sammy Ameobi and Nile Ranger (although his standing at the club could be lower than the Spaniard’s considering his latest controversy) ahead of him and considering Alan Pardew plays with one striker it is very unlikely he will ever add to the one goal he scored against Hull City on his Magpie debut.
With his contract dwindling toward expiry his days at Newcastle seem numbered despite words of encouragement he has received from Alan Pardew about how ‘anything can happen’.
He will likely return to Spain at his contract end although I personally would love to see him stay in England even if it means dropping down to The Championship to perhaps show people exactly what he has, and maybe detach himself from cult status in the English game.
What do you make of Xisco’s hat-trick and would you like to see him stay in England?
image: © mikebrown59