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What Next For Bigirimana at Newcastle United?

8 years ago

The rumour mill continues to throw some shockers our way. Moussa Dembele and Wilfried Zaha are supposedly coming in, with the likes of Davide Santon and Tim Krul set to ply their trade among Europe’s elite.

The one rumour that got me thinking was our 20 year-old midfield maestro, Gael Bigirimana, suddenly being touted for a season on loan at previous club Coventry City, something that to my mind serves little purpose for Newcastle United or the player.

Last season Gael appeared in 25 first team matches, at times he was outstanding and for a teenager looked remarkably composed on the big stage.

This term has been a different story, with the likeable youngster only featuring in one game, a League Cup outing at Morecambe. With that in mind, a loan spell elsewhere reeks of logic on the surface.

My issue is that loaning ‘Bigi’ to a League One side is likely to hamper his development more than enhance him as a player. I can understand him checking in at a club such as Leeds United, who play decent football in a relatively decent league, maybe even Middlesbrough, where he’d likely get plenty of games without having to uproot significantly.

This is a prestigious young prospect, it’s clear to anyone with a slim knowledge of the game that he has the vision, weight of pace, stamina and technical attributes to succeed in the top flight of English football, although there are obviously areas to improve upon, such as the occasional stray pass, or anonymous display.

The main issue seems to be the sheer quantity of resources in the middle of the park at NUFC: If an in-form Tiote and interested Cabaye pick themselves, then that leaves just one spot in the centre of midfield up for grabs.

At the moment Sissoko and Anita are the front-runners for the position, with Marveaux and possibly Ben Arfa also capable of slotting in there. Assuming that those guys are all ahead of Gael in the pecking order, that makes him seventh choice central midfielder at best, an unenviable position.

The loan system would keep him actively involved with first team action, as I’m certain he’d positively embellish any squad beneath the top flight. The question is; how have the others who were farmed out fared?

Focusing on just a few recent cases; Curtis Good had a tremendous cup run with Bradford, but finds himself rotting in the reserves on Tyneside once again, although, like Bigi, he did start that Morecambe tie.

Michael Richardson can’t get beyond the bench at League Two strugglers Accrington, while the likes of Bradden Inman and Fraser Forster enjoyed their loans so much that they opted to stay at the clubs that borrowed them.

The one recent success story of the system, as far as Newcastle are concerned, is of course Paul Dummett, who evolved from talented kid to accomplished professional during a successful stint in Scotland. St.Mirren looked after him well and he learned a lot from the experience it was a win-win-win situation.

So, what next for Bigi? He needs to play first team football or face treading water for the next seven months, I for one hope that Newcastle temporarily farm him out, just as long as they make sure it’s the right club – and right now that isn’t Coventry City.


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