Then in the back half of the 2011/12 season, as the Magpies achieved a fifth-place finish in the Premier League under Alan Pardrew, Ferguson was again showing promise.
Ferguson is currently on-loan at League One side Millwall, on a six-month loan deal. The 24-year-old has spent the majority of his time at The Den watching from the bench, having made just one start in the Lions' first eight games of the season.
Newcastle fans have waited patiently for this seed to flower, but even the most patient of Toon supporter must surely be wondering: is this really the same player we saw a few years back?
For a player with obvious talent, it seems strange that Ferguson is unable to break into the starting eleven of a team that currently sits 14th in England's third tier.
Ferguson recently made a substitute appearance for Northern Ireland in a 1-1 draw with Hungary in a Euro 2016 qualifier. It's a good thing Ferguson isn't a regular Twitter user, as he won't have wanted to read what the Twitterati had to say about his cameo in that match.
@OfficialIrishFA Least impactful change that could've been made
— Gavin Conn (@GavinConn) September 7, 2015
Shane Ferguson has came on for Northern Ireland and is easily the worst footballer I've ever seen.
— Anton Santos (@AntonSantos92) September 7, 2015
Shane Ferguson only has one foot.
— Ryan Deeney (@RyanDeeney2194) September 7, 2015
Ferguson is still young enough to turn things around, and there is plenty of time this season for the left-footer to make an impact, be it on the wing or at full-back for Millwall.
But to make an impact you have to be on the pitch, and Ferguson seemingly has a long way to go before impressing Millwall boss Neil Harris, and becoming a Lions regular before even being considered by Steve McClaren at St James' Park.