Facundo Ferreyra didn’t play a single competitive minute for Newcastle during an ill-fated loan spell during the 2014/15 season and is generally considered to be a damning indictment of the club’s recruitment policy under Mike Ashley.
So it will come as no surprise to Magpies fans to learn that Ferreyra is one match away from playing in a Champions League quarter final after scoring for Shakhtar Donetsk in the last-16 tie against Roma on Wednesday night.
He couldn't get a minute for Newcastle…
But Facundo Ferreyra has now been directly involved in five goals in seven Champions League games this season
And if that is too much to swallow, the Argentinian striker has been directly involved in five goals in seven Champions League matches (three goals, two assists) for Shakhtar this season, scoring 23 times in 30 appearances in all competitions.
In fact, since returning to Shakhtar in the summer of 2015 Ferreyra has certainly hit a rich vein of consistent form in front of goal with 49 goals in 79 matches in all competitions. That’s just six less goals than the combined record of Papiss Cisse, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Dwight Gayle, Daryl Murphy and Joselu (56) in the proceeding three seasons. A frightening statistic.
It will be almost four years ago this summer that former chief scout Graham Carr brought Ferreyra to St James’ Park, a stadium he would never once set foot on in a black and white shirt, and it’s clear that he is a better player and a more accomplished finisher than we gave him credit for.
Then again, we never actually got to see the 26-year-old in action due, unlike the lamentable Joselu.