Newcastle United have been close to signing some truly unbelievable players over the years, however, arguably none have gone on to make such a swift turnaround in their careers as this one.
When the Magpies were linked with Mohamed Salah, he was yet to even make his move into Europe.
One of the biggest stars in recent times in the Premier League, he was playing his football for Al Mokawloon Al Arab SC, an Egyptian club with a track record of producing talent from the region.
Would Salah have still become world class, had he moved to Newcastle in 2011?
However, in 2011 the now “world-class” winger spoke to an Egyptian publication about reported interest from the Tyneside outfit.
He said: “Newcastle will soon make an official offer to sign me for one season. I don’t think contractors will refuse to let me play in the English Premier League. It’s a dream for any player to play in one of the strongest league competitions in the world.”
The move obviously did not materialise, and for many years there was little regret to be had. He scored just 20 goals for FC Basel, disappointed in his move to Chelsea, and then continued to be a solid if unspectacular forward for AS Roma.
However, when Liverpool came calling for £34m, he truly exploded, showing the Toon Army what they could’ve had.
His debut season saw the £350k-per-week star score 32 goals in 36 Premier League games, as well as ten Champions League goals on their way to the final.
Many expected this to be a fluke of a season, but 160 goals across just 263 games for the Reds outlines his consistency and proficiency in front of goal.
The Egypt international managed to completely turn his career on its head and is now renowned as one of the most lethal finishers in the league.
Unsurprisingly, his CIES Football Observatory value has shot up alongside his blistering form, as they now rate him at €100m (£88m).
Newcastle made a huge mistake when they pulled the plug on this deal, as with a bit of patience it could’ve been them who benefitted from the sudden goal-scoring exploits of the “Egyptian King”.