By Alex Stevens

Freddie Shepherd has branded Michael Owen as the worst signing of his 16-year reign at Newcastle.

The club’s former chairman immediately named club legend Alan Shearer as the greatest signing during his spell at St James’ Park.

But he admitted that former England striker Owen did not do justice to his fee or wages after signing from Real Madrid in the summer of 2005 for a club-record fee of £16million.

The 2001 European footballer of of the year only managed 79 appearances over four injury-ravaged seasons before joined Manchester United in 2009.

“The best signing? Shearer, it’s a no-brainer,” Shepherd told the Independent. “The worst? Owen. It never worked out.”

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“Was the boat pushed out too far with that transfer? Yeah, I think so.”

The Independent report that Newcastle paid Owen £103,000-a-week during his time at the club, a remarkable contract at the time despite the player’s success at Liverpool and for the England national side.

By contrast, Shearer firmly established himself as the Magpies’ greatest ever player after signing from Blackburn for £15million in 1996.

In other Newcastle transfer news, the club up lining up another raid on Arsenal.

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