Solano Relieved On Toon Return
Seems Solano is still angry with the way Sir Bobby treated him but once he knew Newcastle were interested in bringing him back, he had no decision to make, he was in his car and up the motorway faster than something that is very fast!
Solano was sold at a bargain price of £1.5million to Aston Villa in the January 2004 transfer window. I'm not sure who was the most shocked at the time, the Villa fans who couldn't believe their luck, or the Geordies who had lost a Toon hero.
Solano implies he was mystified at why Sir Bobby wasn't playing him:
'We'd never had an all-out row; my mother had taught me to respect my elders come what may and I did that. However, I kept asking him why I wasn't being picked and why, on the few occasions I was, I was inevitably subbed. I wanted to know what part of my game he didn't like and wanted me to work on, but I never got an answer. Of course as manager, it was his right to pick the team he wanted, but he could have told me in advance that I wasn't playing. Communication is very important.'
Asking 'Do you think he would have shown the same lack of respect to Alan Shearer? I don't think so.'
Solano arrived in 1998 during Dalglish's time in the hot seat from Argentinean club Boca Juniors for £2.5million.
He said he begged O'Leary to let him return once he found out Newcastle wanted him back. He explained in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle:
'Oh, it was out of the blue all right.. 'All the talk had been of me going to Liverpool. Then on the very last day of business, my agent told me about Newcastle. I was ecstatic. I'd never wanted to leave and now I could go back. I thought I'd played my last game for Newcastle. A marriage appeared over for good. I went to see David O'Leary and stressed that if it was true about United, he must let me go. Villa have a big history, but it's in the past. Newcastle are a huge club in the present with a massive following. They may not have won a trophy for many, many years, but still 50,000 Geordies pour into St James' Park every home game. Which other club can command that sort of following?'
Adding: 'I left Birmingham at 3.30pm with my agent in the car. I was up here at 8pm for my medical and had signed my contract by 10pm. I wasn't going to have any arguments with this club. I just wanted to join.'
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