Five years of wages and only 13 Premier League starts, Sylvain Marveaux was arguably the worst signing of Newcastle United’s tunnel-vision pursuit of ‘bargains’ from Ligue 1.
Most proved not up to the job and in many cases Newcastle have struggled to move them on, as Premier League level wages for substandard players, means that French clubs can’t afford to take them back over the channel.
Sylvain Marveaux arrived in summer 2011 but never looked to have his heart in it, though despite that he now claims to ‘not regret at all’ his move to Tyneside.
There again, five years of Premier League wages in return for 13 league starts must look a bargain for many players.
The fact he was happy to see out his lucrative contract at St James Park rather than look for a permanent move and football elsewhere on reduced money, tells you everything. Sylvain Marveaux last starting a Premier League match on 31 August 2013 and not leaving until almost three years later.
Rafa Benitez assessed the situation very quickly and never entertained Marveaux in his Newcastle squad, instead paying both him and Obertan off early.
Sylvain Marveaux got picked up by Lorient after being dismissed from Newcastle and after an early injury has now started seven Ligue 1 matches and scored two league goals, one more than he scored in five years at St James Park. However, Lorient and Marveaux remain rock bottom of the French top tier.
Emmanuel Riviere got one more year than Sylvain Marveaux and his six year contract isn’t due to end until June 2020.
Rafa Benitez must have shaken his head more than the odd time when he walked into St James Park and realised much of what he had inherited.
Sylvain Marveaux talking to Le Telegramme (as reported by Sport Witness)
“It was an experience (at Newcastle United), an opportunity that I don’t regret at all.
“It is also good to try something else, you don’t realise how high the level is. That’s what makes the difference between a good player and a great one.
“The last year (at Newcastle), I didn’t play at all.
“I was waiting to find a club and an environment where I would have my chance. To be a part of it all every weekend.
“Lorient was my first contact and it stuck straight away.”