Newcastle United's Inaugural Summer Signings In The Mike Ashley Era - Ranked Worst To Best

Wijnaldum joins a mixed bag of summer signings first through the door at St James' Park.

Scott Heppell/AP

It may have been 335 days since Newcastle last signed a player, but the arrival of Georginio Wijnaldum from PSV Eindhoven for £14.5 million was certainly worth the wait for supporters, who were standing on the precipice of insurrection over the club's grave lack of ambition and unyielding obedience to Mike Ashley's frugal but inhibitive recruitment model.

Not since completing a double deal for Nottingham Forest duo Karl Darlow and Jamal Lascelles on 9th August last year, had the Magpies delved into the transfer market, so the deal for Wijnaldum was a change of direction welcomed by an emboldened fanbase and a testament to Ashley's pledge of recurrent investment.

The Dutch international, who incidentally became the third most expensive signing in Newcastle history and the largest outlay in the Ashley era, was swiftly followed by the acquisition of Anderlecht striker Aleksandar Mitrovic for £13 million and his team-mate Chancel Mbemba, the 20-year-old centre-back costing £7.5 million - that's three of Europe's most coveted stars recruited for just over £30 million. 

The purchase of Wijnaldum, however, ultimately set the tone, as any inaugural summer signing should, for what was to follow and, up to now, Newcastle's "football board" have well and truly delivered, the 24-year-old adding his name to an illustrious cast of heroes and villains who can attest to being the club's first shot across the recruitment bow.

With that in mind, WhatCulture.com/NUFC has ranked each of the nine summer signings, including Wijnaldum, to arrive first through the ever revolving door at St James' Park during Ashley's tenure.

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Content writer, blogger, occasional journalist and lifetime inhabitant of the post-LOST island of grief.