Albert Luque


By Tom Easterby

 

Twenty-year-old Ayoze Perez became Newcastle United's first signing of the summer last week when he put pen to paper on a long-term deal at St. James' Park.

The striker scored 16 goals in 34 appearance for Tenerife last term, attracting the attention of the Magpies, who landed their man on Friday.

Perez is the only the fifth Spaniard to represent United, and here we take a look back at the previous four...

 

Jose Enrique

An athletic, accomplished left-back, Jose Enrique's arrival on Tyneside went largely unheralded.

The Valencia-born defender had turned in some solid performances for Villareal during the 2006/07 season, establishing himself as a highly-rated young talent having earlier featured for Levante, Celta Vigo (on loan) and Valencia, though he failed to make a breakthrough at the Mestalla.

Having featured intermittently during the 2007/08 season and the ill-fated 2008/09 campaign, Enrique made the number three shirt his own in the Championship, winning the Player of the Year award and earning a place in the division's Team of the Year.

The following season proved to be the Spaniard's breakthrough season in the top flight, as he became an almost ever-present, attracting the interest of a number of clubs, including Liverpool, who secured his signature for a £7million fee in the summer of 2011.

The 28-year-old is widely regarded as one of United's more successful signings of the past decade.

Jose Enrique

 

Marcelino

A £5.8million signing from Real Mallorca in 199, Marcelino was a sought after figure when he arrived on Tyneside.

Having clocked up well over 100 appearances in his three years at the Iberostar Stadium, the centre-half had impressed sufficiently to warrant a call-up to a talented Spain squad, which at the time featured the likes of Raul, Pep Guardiola and Fernando Hierro.

However, his time in England was to prove far less successful. Making only a handful of appearances for the first team, Marcelino was out of favour for the majority of his unhappy four-year spell, spending long periods with United's reserve team and on the sidelines with knocks.

One such injury, to his finger, allegedly kept the five-cap international out of action for two months.

Having been bought by Ruud Gullit, it was the Dutchman's successor, Sir Bobby Robson, who freed Marcelino in 2003. He has since gone on to forge a career as an agent and a pundit on Sky Sports' Revista de La Liga.

Marcelino

 

Albert Luque

Brought in by Graeme Souness from Deportivo La Coruna in the summer of 2005, Albert Luque was supposed to add to a strong United attacking line-up, which already boasted the likes of Alan Shearer, Michael Owen and Shola Ameobi.

At £9million, the former Mallorca and Malaga winger proved to be a flop at St. James' Park, failing to reproduce the form he'd shown in Spain in the Premier League.

A troublesome hamstring problem, which reared its head on Luque's second game against Fulham, limited his impact in his debut campaign, though the former Spain international is fondly remembered by Magpies fans for his goal - his only for the Club - in the 2005/06 Tyne-Wear derby at the Stadium of Light.

Finding himself out of favour and, at one brief point, without a squad number, Luque left for Ajax in 2007 and subsequently rejoined Malaga before retiring in 2011.

Albert Luque

 

Xisco

Another former Deportivo player, the signing of Francisco Jiminez Tejada - or Xisco for short - raised more than a few eyebrows.

Though he was regarded as an up-and-coming young forward at the Riazor, he failed to make the grade in England despite scoring on his debut in a 2-1 defeat to Hull City.

Xisco was loaned out on a number of occasions, to Racing Santander and twice to his former club, but his scoring touch continued to elude him.

He briefly returned to the Newcastle squad for the Europa League tie against Club Brugge during the 2012/13 season but was released at the end of the campaign, and is currently playing for Cordoba in the Spanish Segunda Division.

xisco in action against hull