Whatever happened to… Xisco When Newcastle signed Francisco Jimenez Tejada on transfer deadline day in 2008, a few eyebrows were raised. With the then manager Kevin Keegan seemingly unhappy at his lack on control on transfer activity, it never seemed that ‘Xisco’ was destined for greatness in the North East.
However, he did score on debut against Hull City, yet after this there has been very little success. In total the Spaniard, with 11 youth international caps, has only made 9 league appearances for the Magpies, yet he is still contracted to the club.
That may come as a surprise to many supporters, who had thought that the forward had left on a permanent transfer. So, what has he been up to, and does he still have a future at the club as he returns this close-season after three loan moves back to Spain?
Signed for 5.7 million, possibly rising to 7 million, it is without doubt that there must have been some potential in Xisco, a robust forward who had scored goals for fun at Deportivo B, and had a decent record for the first team in La Liga. As shown about he hasn’t had any great success for the Newcastle first team, and a red card for the reserves did him no favour either. He left under unhappy circumstances, returning to his native country on loan after failing to turn up to several training sessions.
His first loan spell came at Racing Santander, a mid to low table side in Spain’s top division. Mainly un-inspiring, he did turn in some good performances showing why he had began to make a name for himself at Deportivo. Scoring three times in 23 league appearance is far from prolific, but a large amount were from the bench and he played a vital role in their run to the semi-finals of the Copa Del Rey.
Returning to Newcastle he again failed to oust Obafemi Martins, Andy Carroll and Peter Lovenkrands, and despite an entertaining cameo and an assist in the 6-0 mauling of Aston Villa, found himself out on loan again in January 2011. Back at his first club, he scored twice in nine appearances yet couldn’t prevent them staying up, and Deportivo were relegated.
He stayed for the entire 2011/12 season, yet didn’t play as big a role as he would have wanted. He did, however, play a big role in their final game of the season as they secured a quick return to the top division, winning promotion. 2 goals in 14 league appearances was again not a great return, but he did show glimpses of real talent.
So, is there a chance that Xisco could make it in the Newcastle first team eventually? It looks as though he will be sold as Alan Pardew attempts to build his squad for a Europa League campaign this season. However, it is without doubt that he has some natural ability, and maybe, just maybe, Newcastle should take a punt on him this season.
What Do you Think?