(The numbers alongside a playerâ€™s name represent, in order, month signed, sold, starts, (sub) appearances, goals)
*Appearance and goal numbers taken from Soccerbase.com
1. Lomano Tresor LuaLua (DR Congo) Sep '00 - Jul '04, 21 (67), 5
Signed by Sir Bobby Robson for Â£2.25m from Colchester United this winger/ forward was a bag of tricks and sometimes great to watch. he was the first African to play for us. He was inconsistent though and this meant that he saw most of his action coming onto the park as a substitute. He went on loan to Portsmouth and we failed to insert a clause preventing him from playing against us. Naturally this meant that he scored and he ended up making the move to the South Coast permanent and we recouped Â£1.7m
Overall rating: 5/10
2. Celestine Babayaro (Nigeria) Jan '05 - Dec '07, 66 (2), 1
Graeme Souness signed Babayaro for a million quid. He was a decent player for Chelsea but never really did it at St James' Park. For some reason, the thing that I remember him for most was when he came out amongst the Chelsea players and through a guard-of-honour from the Newcastle players after they had won the Premier League, despite him being a Newcastle player for months beforehand! Babayaro left on a free - I think he turned up at Galaxy, though I don't know if he ever played for them.
Overall rating: 3
3. Amdy Faye (Senegal) Jan '05 - Aug '06, 35 (10), 0
Signed at the same time as Babayaro, we paid Portsmouth a ridiculous Â£2m. He was slow and appeared to have very little footballing ability. I literally cannot think of a single thing that he was good at! The most amazing thing is that we actually managed to recoup our fee when he was moved on to Charlton Athletic. Boumsong, Babayaro and Faye in one fell swoop - thanks Graeme.....
Overall rating: 3
4. Obafemi Martins (Nigeria) Aug '06 - Jul '09, 89 (15), 35
Oba came in for Â£10m from Internazionale signed by Glen Roeder and questions were soon raised about how old he actually was. The Newcastle fans didn't care either way. He became a cult figure early on and the fans adapted his passport suspicions with a song "21 or 28? 21 or 28? 21 or 28? Obafemi Martins" He was equally as likely to smash a ball in from 30 yards as he was to miss from 3, but his goal scoring ratio was excellent. Sadly he was part of the relegation side and was very disappointing in that ill fated season. The club did very well to bring in Â£9m for him. Since he left he has drifted from club to club rarely displaying any form.
Overall rating: 7
5. Geremi (Cameroon) Jul '07 - Feb '10, 42 (12), 3
Via Sir Bobby, Jose Mourinho allegedly warned Allardyce off the veteran Cameroon right back come midfielder. It is a shame Sam did not take the advice. Not only did he sign him, he also made him Captain (England release clause eh Sam?). Not the worst player in our history, but his legs were not what they once were and he struggled to make an impact or get through 90 minutes of Premier League football. After a couple of years we let him go to Ankaragucu in Turkey. He is now playing for Pro Duta in Indonesia. To be fair to Geremi he did amass over 100 Caps for his country and will be remembered fondly by many elsewhere in the world.
Overall rating: 5
6. Abdoulaye Faye (Senegal) Aug '07 - Aug '08, 22 (2), 1
Another Allardyce signing, our second Senegalese Faye came in from his old club Bolton for Â£2m. He wasn't bad. At times he was quite the dominant centre half. He didn't last long though - amid rumours of a dressing room bust up Kevin Keegan sold him to Stoke for the same amount that Allardyce had paid for him. At Stoke he scored twice against us - one of them was a late equaliser when, under Kinnear in the relegation season, we managed to throw away a 2 v 0 lead in a game that we were absolutely dominating. He is playing for Allardyce again now down at West Ham.
Overall rating: 6
7. Habib Beye (Senegal) Aug '07 - Aug '09, 51 (3), 1
One of Allardyce's best signings, Habib arrived from Marseille for Â£2m. The fans loved him "Sunday, Monday, Habib Beye" and he was named NUFC player of the season in 2008. His departure upset a lot of supporters. The club told him that he would not be offered a new long term contract and with only a year left on his deal at the time, he opted to take the security of a long deal at Aston Villa. He was branded as greedy and seen to be deserting the proverbial sinking ship, but in reality who can really blame him? As it turns out it was a great move by us. He never replicated his Newcastle form at Villa and he now plays for Doncaster Rovers.
Overall rating: 7
8. Lamine Diatta (Senegal) Mar '08 - Mar '09, 0 (2), 0
Keegan brought Diatte in on a free as cover and he didn't play much at all. He is now 36 and is also playing for Doncaster Rovers, his 11th club.
Overall rating: n/a
9. Sebastien Bassong (Cameroon) Jul '08 - Aug '09, 30 (4), 0
Though born in France, Seb is a Cameroon International. His short stay at NUFC will go down as one of the best we have ever achieved financially. Brought in on trial by Keegan, he was signed on a permanent deal for Â£500K. He played reasonably well in the relegation season, though his indiscipline was costly and he received a couple of red cards. He won the clubs player of the year award that year, though there was little competition in a shocking season. Spurs jumped in and paid over Â£8m - absolutely crazy all things considered. He made a decent start to his career down there, but the fact is that he is now on loan at 20th placed Wolves. Another player on the long list of 'stars' who have jumped ship for what they think are bigger things, only to fail.
Overall rating: 7
10. Cheick Tiote (Ivory Coast) Aug '10 - present
Cheick is tremendous. Plucked from Twente in Holland for a meagre Â£3.5m, he has taken to the Premier League. He is a warrior and battles in every game - sometimes a bit too forcefully! Doubt his abilities? Then YouTube his highlights from when we beat Manchester United 3-0 earlier this season. We have not lost too many games this season when Tiote has started. he was a big miss when he went off to the African Cup of nations earlier this year - in which he was a beaten finalist. He is regularly linked with other clubs, with Chelsea popping up more than others. I hope he stays (his contract runs until 2017!), but itâ€™s fair to say that if he goes we will make a significant profit.
11. Demba Ba (Senegal) Jun '11 - present
A clause in his contract meant that when West Ham were relegated we picked up Demba on a free - only Â£35,000,000 less than Andy Carroll. What a signing. After a slow start, Demba caught fire and could not stop scoring. Even without his goals (he is going through a bit of a lean patch!) he is still a vital first team player. His all-round performance in the 3 v 0 Man United game was absolutely outstanding. Whenever a Newcastle player performs like Demba has so often we begin to fear that other clubs will try to plunder them. However it is one thing signing a player with a 'ticking bomb knee condition' on a free and quite another paying millions for him, so hopefully Demba is here for a long time to come.
12. Mehdi Abeid (Algeria) Jun '11 to present
Mehdi is definitely one for the future. His first team appearances have been very, very encouraging and I look forward to seeing more of him. Next season could be a huge season for him. Like Bassong, Mehdi was also born in France but he has pledged his future to Algeria. He hoped to play in the Olympics this year for them, but they failed to qualify.
13. Papiss Demba Cisse (Senegal) Jan '12 - present
What a start this kid has made to his career at Gallowgate! As I type this he has played 7 Premier League games and scored 7 goals, some of which have been phenomenal. He plays in a very similar way to former Newcastle number 9 Andy Cole - if he is half as successful we will all be delighted. It is not just his goals though - his work rate is exceptional. At West Brom he almost literally ran himself into the ground! He looks like Â£9m very well spent.
Obviously not all of the African players who have played for us have been a great success, but when you consider that (pre the current crop) our average fee paid was Â£2.48m and average fee recouped Â£2.77m, we have had our value for money. Add to that the type of fees we could command if we opted to sell Tiote, Ba and Cisse - these players have offered fantastic value for money. Who is our all time best African in my opinion? I will let you know this time next year!