The power shift at Newcastle United is now completed with Rafa Benitez being the sole centre in the transfer dealings of the club. Chief scout Graham Carr has decided to leave the club after long discussions with owner Mike Ashley.
Carr had been with the Magpies since 2010 and signed a new eight-year deal in 2012. But with Benitez’s authoritarian approach coming in the middle of his work, Carr and the club decided it’s best to call it a day with three years still remaining on his contract.
More than a chief scout, Carr’s role was similar to a director of football. It is a well-known fact that previous managers like Alan Pardew and Steve McLaren had no say in the transfers at St. James’ Park with Carr directly reporting to the owner.
His six years with the club saw 46 players arrive at Tyneside with some being highly effective while others, horrific. On that note, here are the three best and worst signings done by Graham Carr during his time with the club:
The best of the lot
#1 Yohan Cabaye
The creative midfielder joined Newcastle from Lille for just £4.3 million. He was brilliant for the Magpies in his three years with the club and departed in 2014 for a price of £20 million. Cabaye helped Newcastle earn a huge profit and more importantly, he was important in the club dominating games from midfield during his time. Alan Pardew’s side finished fifth in 2011-12 and Cabaye was instrumental in that.
#2 Demba Ba
Ba was a crowd favourite during his time with Newcastle and left for greener pastures when Chelsea came calling in 2013. Newcastle got £7 million for the striker but failed to replace him well. Nevertheless, he was a shrewd signing and perhaps should have stayed judging by the way his career has panned out after leaving the Magpies.
#3 Moussa Sissoko
Unlike the two mentioned names, Sissoko was not able to make himself a grand success at St. James but the money which Newcastle received after selling him made him a good thing to happen under Graham Carr.
Tottenham Hotspur splashed their transfer record, still unbelievable, to sign Sissoko for £30 million last summer. The bid came as a surprise for Newcastle as selling Sissoko for such a high price helped them build a strong side for the Championship slog.
#1 Remy Cabella
Cabella wanted to emulate Peter Beardsley when he arrived in England but failed miserably. He could not get along with Alan Pardew and because of his average performances, the Frenchman departed with just 24 appearances under his belt for the Magpies.
#2 Emmanuel Riviere
The Geordie talent spotter signed Riviera from Monaco but that move turned out to be a nightmare for all parties concerned. Riviera could not settle in England as his injuries couple with the lack of talent on the pitch meant he managed just one goal in 23 appearances for the club. He is currently on loan at Osasuna and is yet to score for them. Surprised?
#3 Florian Thauvin
Thauvin arrived amidst much fanfare and had a brilliant home debut where he scored one and assisted another. But the relationship between him and the manager soon turned sour and he made only 14 more appearances for the club in his solitary season in England. Carr’s find turned out to be a big mistake as in one game, Thauvin was booed by his own set of fans.