Mike Ashley flop now level on goals with Benzema

Newcastle United became renowned for their turnover of players during the Mike Ashley era, however, since the takeover in 2021 the club has become much more stable and has more structure to their transfer business which has been reflected in the performances on the pitch.

The Magpies went to their first domestic cup final at Wembley Stadium last weekend since 1999 and have been hugely consistent in their Premier League campaign – so far only suffering two defeats and are currently fifth in the league table.

As many Newcastle supporters will know, the stability and consistency at St James’ Park today are a far cry from the frustrating 14-year reign under the Sports Direct tycoon.

Indeed, there are many transfer howlers that were committed by Ashley but there is one, in particular, in more recent times that could be considered one of the biggest mistakes the owner made in his final years at the club.

Back in the summer of 2019, the club confirmed that Newcastle striker Joselu had made the permanent move to Deportivo Alaves for an ‘undisclosed fee’, however, The Chronicle further stated that the Spaniard parted ways for a transfer fee of £2.5m.

At the time of the sale, it surely wouldn’t have bothered supporters too much as the forward only tallied up seven goals and two assists over 52 appearances but when you take a closer look at his output since leaving Tyneside, it will surely frustrate Newcastle fans.

Where is Newcastle flop Joselu now?

It is safe to say, the Spanish striker’s form considerably improved when he made the move to Alaves – scoring 36 goals and registering 11 assists over 113 appearances with a goal contribution every 195 minutes.

Following his consistent output with Alaves, Joselu joined Espanyol last summer on a free transfer and has since become the joint-second top goal-scorer in La Liga this season – currently level on goals with Real Madrid’s Ballon d’Or-winning striker Karim Benzema (11) and chasing down Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski (15), who is only four goals ahead of him.

To put that into perspective with Newcastle’s top scorers this season across all competitions, the 32-year-old – hailed “complete” by one of Alaves’ analysts – has 12 goals which is more than the club’s leading scorer Miguel Almiron, who has 10 goals so far, and the club’s main striker Callum Wilson with seven.

Over 20 La Liga appearances – aside from goals scored – Joselu has delivered two assists and created two big chances, as well as averaging 2.5 shots on goal, 1.4 clearances, and a whopping 8.7 duels per game, proving that his in-game involvement is also much improved and a huge asset to Espanyol.

Should Newcastle have kept Joselu?





With that being said, supporters may wonder whether Joselu could have thrived under the management of Eddie Howe at Newcastle considering how well the dynamo is playing now as the gem could have been a valuable attacking threat to the team, based on his impressive form in Spain.

Therefore, the Magpies fumbled the experienced striker with their sale in 2019 and missed out on the chance to see an excellent striker, alongside Alexander Isak and Wilson, in action under Howe.

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