Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has called the fee Liverpool paid for Andy Carroll “astronomical”, and credited the Magpies recent success to his departure.
To the anger of Newcastle fans, who had been promised that their number 9 would not be sold, the England striker was allowed to leave for Liverpool in January 2011, with the Reds paying £35m to secure the deal.
Upon joining Liverpool, Carroll struggled, and was loaned out to West Ham for this season. In contrast, Newcastle were able to invest in new players and in the season he left, finished 12th, before going on to finish fifth last term.
Discussing the sale of Carroll, who returns to St James' Park on Sunday with the Hammers, Pardew said Newcastle owed the 23-year-old a debt.
"The position we are in, if I'm honest, is because we used the money from Andy's sale well," said Pardew.
"He was a brilliant player for us, but the fee was astronomical. We have used it well and we owe a great debt to him."
Also in the opposing team will be Kevin Nolan, who left Newcastle in the summer of 2011 after contract talks broke down.
"It's nice to see Kevin come back. He did a super job here. Whatever he was asked to do, he conducted himself well. And he gets a goal. He has proven that at any level, he will get a goal.
"I'm looking forward to seeing them both and I enjoyed working with them.
"There will be a lot on the game. Kevin will be determined to get a result, as will Andy and the manager coming back."
Since the pair departed the likes of Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse have arrived, and impressed, on Tyneside, meaning the departure of Carroll and Nolan has been easier to bear.
"Both of those players would be good additions to this squad, but players have to move on for the sake of the team. That's the Andy Carroll one," said Pardew today.
"Kevin was a bit different, he wanted a long contract we wouldn't commit to, but he got one at West Ham.
"He deserves it because he is a great player, but the board didn't think the long contract for Kevin was something he would get here."
While Carroll will be lining up alongside Nolan on Sunday, he could have been on the opposite side. When it became apparent Liverpool would allow him to leave, there was talk that he could return to Newcastle.
Discussing the mooted deal, Pardew said: "Yes, I thought there was a possibility of it.
"We were in there because he brings something different to the table to what we have got and we could probably do with another striker.
"We were right in there, but unfortunately we weren't able to get it done at board level."
Pardew will be hoping the failure to secure Carroll's return doesn't come back to haunt him when his side take on West Ham in Sunday's 3pm kick-off.