Before we stepped in to complete the surprise signing of Jamal Lewis for £15m, we were regularly linked with a cut-price move for Greek left-back Dimitris Giannoulis.
The Athletic confirmed he’d been identified as a target by our recruitment team and there were various reports back in August stating we’d submitted a £4m bid.
As it turns out, that man Giannoulis has just completed a January move to Norwich City, with him signing at Carrow Road on an initial loan deal that’s said to include an obligation to buy for €7.5m (£6.6m) should they earn promotion back to the Premier League.
Interestingly, Chris Waugh’s reaction to the move suggests he was the man our scouts had identified last summer as the answer to our issues at left-back – only for Bruce to maintain his ‘buy British’ approach and push for Lewis instead:
At the time of Lewis’ arrival, it felt like a very decent coup for the club, with Liverpool previously having a £10m bid rejected as they searched for back up to Andy Robertson.
However, six months later it’s fair to say the former Luton star has had an extremely difficult start to life at St James’ Park.
His confidence looks shattered and he’s looked timid at both ends of the field, failing to look anything like the player who was up and down the line at Norwich, constantly on marauding runs and completely comfortable with the ball at his feet.
A good manager would get so much more out of Lewis – a 22-year-old at a crucial stage of his development – however it would be very typical of Newcastle United if PAOK star Giannoulis went on to look the much better buy at half the price.