Newcastle Release Xisco, Retain Danny Simpson, "Crown Jewels"

Clive Brunskill

Newcastle ended a busy transfer window Thursday by releasing one of their past mistakes.

Newcastle United announced Thursday just before the transfer deadline that they had parted ways with striker Xisco by mutual consent. The Toon did most of their transfer business well ahead of this year's January 31 deadline, making the eleventh hour a much less dramatic one then it has been in years' past. Derek Llambias appeared on Sky Sports News just a few moments ago, telling the reporter that the "crown jewels of the club" were safe for now.

That means Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa, and Danny Simpson are all staying on Tyneside. The three were perhaps the most rumored departures following Chelsea's signing of Demba Ba, with Simpson receiving the most attention after the club brought in Mathieu Debuchy to take his place. It appears that he will be leaving on a free transfer at the end of the year, and that contract situation is probably what kept any other club from mounting a serious bid.

As for Xisco, there will be no impact on the pitch, obviously. The glass half-empty crowd will moan that the last-second move reminds the world of the mistake that was made bringing him in back in 2008, but the #optimists among us will certainly be happy that £60,000 in wages is now off the books. There were thoughts that he may be primed for a dramatic comeback following a hat trick for the reserves squad in October, but clearly it's not meant to be.

Watch for a full review of what ended up being a very busy transfer window for Newcastle coming soon.

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