This article will look at the players who left Newcastle in the Summer of 2016. If you can’t recall how we were doing then, we’d just been relegated, so we had a major clearout of our better players, ‘bigger names’ and some of the older players who were long overdue being shifted. Transfer fees and such are gathered from Transfermarkt so pardon any inaccuracies. A few players here have had more than one club since leaving – if that’s the case I’ll put them in order of who they joined first.


Gael Bigirimana

  • Age: 24
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Club(s): Coventry City, Motherwell
  • Fee: Free

Kicking things off is Gael Bigirimana, who is a bit of a mystery to me. We signed him at the age of 18, he played a handful of games and looked ok (scoring a beauty against Wigan) and then just disappeared. Loaned out to Rangers where he didn’t play once due to some sort of illness, then went to Coventry on an emergency loan until he signed for them. Nevertheless, he played 39 games for them in 2016/17 and even scored at Wembley in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final (also scoring earlier in the tournament) and then his contract expired and signed for Motherwell, where he still is now. In 31 appearances last season he scored 4 times. He appears to be struggling to hold down a first-team place, with 19 of his 31 apps coming off the bench in a season that saw Motherwell finish 6th in the SPL. A shame that someone who seemed to be a bright talent is struggling at an age that he should be flourishing at.


Remy Cabella

  • Age: 28
  • Position: Attacking Midfielder
  • Club(s): Olympique de Marseille, AS Saint Etienne (loan)
  • Fee: £7m

Cabella was a pretty underwhelming player during his time with us. Perhaps he could have benefitted playing under Rafa in the Championship, but he returned to France to play for Marseille on a permanent basis, after spending 2015/16 on loan there. In his first season, he scored 2 and assisted 4 in 29 appearances, starting only 17 games as Marseille finished 5th and qualified for the Europa League. This poor-ish return saw him fall out of favour and meant he spent last season out on loan at Saint Etienne. A much better season saw Cabella score 8 and assist 6 in 31 appearances (4 apps off the bench for Marseille in August) in all competitions, helping Saint Etienne finish in 7th. What Marseille’s plan is for him now, I wouldn’t know, but he’s showing glimpses of the form that prompted us to buy him when he was at Montpellier.

Papiss Demba Cisse

  • Age: 33
  • Position: Striker
  • Club: Shandong Luneng
  • Fee: £5m

Papiss Cisse will probably be remembered for many years to come simply for his first few months at Newcastle. He’s now plying his trade in China, at the same club we sold him to. In his first season (he joined halfway through) he scored 5 goals in 13 games, as Shandong Luneng narrowly avoided relegation from the Chinese Super League. The following season saw him score 11 goals in 20 appearances in all competitions as his side finished in a much stronger 6th place. This season Shandong sit in 2nd place after 11 games (at time of me writing this) and Cisse hasn’t yet scored. Interestingly, he plays for the same team that ex-Southampton and Italy striker Graziano Pelle plays for.


Fabricio Coloccini

  • Age: 36
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Club: San Lorenzo
  • Fee: Free

Arguably, Coloccini should have left a year or two earlier than he did, and he could have departed as a club legend, even now he’s one of the best defenders we’ve had in living memory, but the end may have soured his legacy somewhat. Anyway, he’s back in Argentina playing for San Lorenzo. Making 26 appearances in 2 years, he still plays semi-regularly at the age of 36. In 2017 San Lorenzo finished 9th (out of 30 teams, I really wish I understood South American domestic football) and qualified for the Copa Sudamericana (like a South American Europa League equivalent) and then finished 3rd out of 28 last season, qualifying for the Copa Libertadores (Champions League equivalent). Colo got an assist last season if that counts for anything.


Daryl Janmaat

  • Age: 28
  • Position: Right Back
  • Club: Watford
  • Fee: £8m

Handsome Daryl is the first of 4 players on this list who stayed in the Premier League. He transferred to Watford after playing the first 2 games of Newcastle’s Championship season. A mixed first season, he was sometimes deployed as a right centre back in Watford’s 3 at the back formation, a bit different to his natural right back position. Watford ended up finishing 17th in sexy Janmaat’s first season, rugged Daryl avoided back to back relegations. He made 28 appearances in his first season, scoring twice. In his second season, pretty Janmaat was used as a right back most of the time, sometimes as a right wing back. 3 goals in 25 appearances to boot. He’s even had a few call-ups to the Netherlands’ national team since he left.


Moussa Sissoko

  • Age: 28
  • Position: Right Winger
  • Club: Tottenham Hotspur
  • Fee: £30m

You may recall him coming out during our relegation season and saying he deserved to be playing Champions League football. Well, Moussa, you got your wish. After trying to engineer a move to Arsenal, he ended up at Spurs for a ludicrous transfer fee. In 69 appearances (28 starts), Sissoko has scored 1 goal and managed 4 assists. He was also dropped from the French team in 2017. With Heung-min Son, Lucas Moura, and Erik Lamela ahead of him, Moussa spends most weekends sat on the bench watching better players play for the rivals of the team he wanted to sign for.


Cheick Tiote

  • Age: 30 (at time of death)
  • Position: Defensive Midfielder
  • Club: Beijing Enterprises
  • Fee: Free

Tiote played 11 games for Beijing Enterprises in the Chinese second tier before collapsing and subsequently dying during training on June 5th, 2017.


Steven Taylor

  • Age: 32
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Club(s): Portland Timbers, Ipswich Town, Peterborough United, Wellington Phoenix
  • Fee: Free

Steven Taylor’s 21-year association with Newcastle came to an end in 2016 following his second relegation with the club. Since then he’s struggled to make a lasting impression anywhere. Briefly joining MLS side Portland Timbers, he was pretty poor (including scoring an own goal and getting injured in his first game for their reserves) He went on to make 9 appearances for the senior side, partnering ex-Birmingham City defender Liam Ridgewell, before leaving in December 2016. Shortly afterward he joined Ipswich Town, where he made 3 appearances and also picked up another injury which saw him miss a considerable portion of the second half of Ipswich’s season. After being released (again) in summer 2017, he signed for Peterborough United on a two-year contract. In 51 appearances all season (yes, he somehow managed to not get injured for a whole season) he scored 4 goals as Peterborough finished 9th in League One and reached the fourth round of the FA Cup. Once again, he was released in the summer. He recently signed for New Zealand side Wellington Phoenix on a one year deal.


Andros Townsend

  • Age: 27
  • Position: Winger
  • Club: Crystal Palace
  • Fee: £14m

Townsend is a hotly talked about player right now, as his return could be imminent. It’s well known that he left us in 2016 to improve his chances of getting into the England team after just narrowly missing out on selection for Roy Hodgson’s EURO 2016 squad. While he has so far failed to break into the national team, his form at Palace has been fairly impressive. His first season saw him score 3 times and get 5 assists in 40 games in all competitions, with a slight improvement of 2 goals and 7 assists in 39 games in the season just gone. He’s yet to really replicate the form he showed with us in 2016, but he has still shown himself to be a solid player.


Georginio Wijnaldum

  • Age: 27
  • Position: Midfielder
  • Club: Liverpool
  • Fee: £25m

Gini is another player who Newcastle have been linked with over the summer, as he is not an essential part of Liverpool’s squad. Wijnaldum had a successful first season at Liverpool, scoring 6 and assisting 11 in 42 games as Liverpool qualified for the Champions League. In the most recent season, Wijnaldum scored 2 and assisted 4 in 49 appearances, including a game in a Champions League final. His poor second season has led to him being available for transfer, being heavily linked with a move to Turkey.