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Have Newcastle United Really Been Successful In French Market?

8 years ago

Most fans no doubt think of football journalists being a bit lazy and when it comes to trotting out phrases such as ‘following Newcastle’s previous success in the French market…’, does it prove the point?

Fans aren’t exempt either as I have heard any number of supporters saying something similar but do the actual facts tell us something different?

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Here are the players brought into Newcastle from French clubs during Mike Ashley’s ownership, with each player preceded by whether I believe their signing has been a success or failure;

Miss Hatem Ben Arfa

Miss Sylvain Marveaux

Hit Yohan Cabaye

Miss Romain Amalfitano

Hit Mathieu Debuchy

Hit Moussa Sissoko

Miss Yoan Gouffran

Miss Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa

Miss Massadio Haidara

Miss Yven Moyo

Miss Fabrice Pancrate

Miss Medhi Abeid

Hit Sebastien Bassong

Miss Habib Beye

Miss David Rozehnal

i’m assuming most fans would agree with Cabaye being a ‘hit’, similarly with Debuchy based on his form this season, though in his case Newcastle had to pay the market rate rather than any kind of ‘bargain’.

The same surely with Bassong who was bought for a pittance and sold for around £8m to Spurs after only one season.

I would also say Moussa Sissoko can come into that category, he is definitely a Premier League ability player and hopefully there will be much more to come, plus obviously his low price was an added bonus.

After that though what do we really have?

Both Beye and Rozehnal proved not up to it after initial promise, while more bargain purchases such as Pancrate, Moyo, Abeid and Amalfitano were nowhere near the quality needed.

Marveaux and Mapou are looking really poor signings the longer time goes on, while Massadio Haidara arrived with so much promnise but has hardly been given a game.

I love Ben Arfa but you can’t seriously claim that he has been an overall success looking at number of matches played and goals/assists, particularly when you end up having Shola and Gosling played ahead of you.

As for Yoan Gouffran, he’s had his moments and yes you can argue that because he was cheap you could claim he was some kind of success, but the second half of this season is rapidly showing he is lacking Premier League quality.

In different circumstances maybe some of these players would have proved a success but with Newcastle’s model of the manager having so little say in player purchases, he seemingly ends up with players who he clearly hasn’t a clue what to do with. Players such as Mapou and Sissoko being prime examples, one ending up playing regularly out of position and the other leaving the fans having little idea of exactly what role he is supposed to be performing.

Newcastle’s best players have ended up at Newcastle from elsewhere; Krul (as a kid from Holland), Coloccini (big money buy from Spain, Santon (relatively big money from Italy), Enrique (relatively big money from Spain), Tiote ( bargain from Holland), Ba (contract clause bargain from West Ham).

So if United’s transfer activity is mostly aimed at France this summer then you just might get ‘value for money’ but will it be Premier League quality?

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