Shola made 397 appearances for the club. Sadly, his last appearance for the club saw him sent off. He scored 79 goals for Newcastle, and scored in Europe (including one at Camp Nou against Barcelona) and in the Championship (bagging 11 goals in Newcastle's season in second tier).
Though he couldn't be considered a prolific scorer, Shola endured himself to the Toon Army by notching 7 goals in 12 matches against Sunderland. The Mackem Slayer said a season ago that he couldn't explain why he scored so frequently against Sunderland, "but long may it continue."
Shola has been criticized roundly in recent seasons, despite having a recurring role coming off the bench. Despite his on-pitch difficulties, he has been named in Nigeria's provisional squad for the World Cup.
Shola had this to say after being released:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Shola club press release: "I hope the fans realise that I have given everything for this Club - blood, sweat and my soul" <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23nufc&src=hash">#nufc</a></p>— Lee Ryder (@lee_ryder) <a href="https://twitter.com/lee_ryder/statuses/469871862160556032">May 23, 2014</a></blockquote>
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Shola did indicate that it was a mutual decision for him to leave. Hull City has expressed interest, but Shola has said he won't decide anything until after the World Cup.
With Shola being a fixture at the club, he overshadows somewhat the release of Luuk de Jong and Loic Remy. Neither is a surprise. de Jong was lauded as the "worst transfer" by one pundit, and Remy had made it clear that he did not want to return to Newcastle. Still, with this trio leaving, there isn't much to Newcastle's already weak attack, though there is talk of the club bringing in strikers early in the transfer window.