May 19, 2024

Newcastle United and the Champions League were simply not meant to be this season.

While Eddie Howe’s team fared well in the Champions League group stage, Newcastle fell at the first hurdle.

Obviously, that doesn’t explain the whole story.

The thumping of Paris Saint-Germain at St James’ Park will be remembered for a long time, even though they were denied another great win over the French champions due to a stupid VAR call.

They defended admirably in the tie with AC Milan at San Siro, and their two losses to Borussia Dortmund in the so-called ‘group of death’ were close.

The loss at home to Milan despite taking the lead was perhaps the most disappointing, although Newcastle did not appear to be out of their depth.

It’s now quite improbable that they’ll return there next season, but PIF’s goal will undoubtedly be to ensure that Newcastle has those kinds of nights again.

Nonetheless, one former Toon player will compete in the final phases of the competition.

It could have been so different, too.

Joselu says he could have stayed at Newcastle

Joselu: From the bench at Stevenage to Real Madrid's new star striker - The  Athletic

 

 

Joselu, who left Newcastle in 2019, has had a remarkable turnaround of fortune since.

The striker only scored seven goals in 52 games for Newcastle, but impressed enough at Alaves to win a return to his boyhood club, Real Madrid.

The Spanish giants play Manchester City in the Champions League quarterfinals this month, and Joselu has confessed that things could have been different.

Speaking with The Daily Mail, he stated that he might have stayed at St James’.

“I had signed a four-year contract at Newcastle. I could have stayed and picked up my money without playing, but I wanted to compete.”

Joselu and Newcastle have both gone on to good things

Joselu’s departure from Newcastle undoubtedly benefited his career. Indeed, it’s tough to envision Madrid signing him if he hadn’t previously signed with Alaves.

Newcastle, meanwhile, were able to bring in Callum Wilson a year later, even before the acquisition, and later recruited Alexander Isak, on whom Howe now intends to build.

Their parting of ways worked out well for everyone.

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