When it comes to Newcastle United messing it up when making big money signings from abroad, Florian Thauvin must come pretty close to the top.

With a desperate financial position at the time, Marseille were forced to sell the winger to Newcastle in August 2015 as the £14m was needed to keep the wolves from the door.

It was yet another classic NUFC ‘how to get things wrong’ episode, a clueless Manager (this time Steve McClaren) with a player coming from a weaker league thrown straight into a poor team that quickly looked like relegation contenders.

Only three Premier League starts later, Florian Thauvin was made a convenient scapegoat and never given another start, no wonder our club lurches from one disaster to another.

Last summer Rafa Benitez was faced with a hopeless task, Thauvin had gone back to his previous club Marseille in the January on loan and was clearly desperate to stay there.

A deal was worked out for another season’s loan as Marseille didn’t have the money to buy him then, so now with a contract clause triggered, Florian Thauvin will make a permanent move this summer to the Ligue 1 club, with Newcastle making around a £5m loss on the transfer fee, millions in wasted wages for no return, plus as well the biggest cost of all.

A relegation that you can’t put a figure on – which a ridiculous transfer policy caused – thinking you can cheat the system by buying young (Mbemba and Mitro were both 20 years old when signing, Tauvin 22) inexperienced players from weaker leagues and thinking they could instantly turn around a team/squad that only survived a relegation campaign on the last day of the previous season.

Florian Thauvin, managed better, could very likely have been a major asset for Newcastle United, just look at any of his 10 spectacular goals this season from midfield/the wing.

On the back of his excellent form, Thauvin is now in the French squad for the first time and has just picked up the March player of the season award from Marseille fans.

A massive 48% voted for him, with next best a distant Morgan Sanson and Remy Cabella, who each got 11% of the vote.

In his four matches in March, Florian Thauvin scored three goals and also contributed three assists.

This makes it a remarkable five Marseille player of the month awards this season out of only eight.

August 2016: Florian Thauvin

September 2016: Florian Thauvin

October 2016: Florian Thauvin

November 2016: Maxime Lopez

December 2016: Florian Thauvin

January 2017: Rémy Cabella

February 2017: Morgan Sanson

March 2017: Florian Thauvin

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  • Wor Lass

    Some people will no doubt feel the need to make snidey comments about the lad but I feel like we`ve let a real talent slip through our fingers. He came over as a young kid, was probably a bit overawed by the whole experience and definitely wasn`t ready physically for the PL. He had to play too much too soon and couldn`t deliver. But he learned from the experience and back on home turf (where the French do like to be) he has become physically stronger and mentally tougher – he looks like the boss of the team at Marseilles. He`ll be their player at the end of the season. I hope we`ve got some sort of sell-on clause in the deal.

    • Leicester Mag

      Hit the nail on the head. McNuggett shouldn’t be allowed to manage a toilet cubicle whatever you say he’s a 21-22 yr trying to settle in a very different environment. As Bobby Robson would say some players need an arm around them. If Thauvin failed then so did the club in equal measure

      • Paul Smith

        People will feel like this if Mitro gets sold and comes good for his
        new club. It was only 6 months back that the masses were screaming for
        him to be in the team and commenting on how the team looked so much
        better with him in it due to his hold up play. Now that he’s lost form
        and confidence our “loyal fans” have turned on him and want him sold…

        Now
        Murphy is flavour of the month. When the Chronicle wrote about us
        potentially signing him months before it happened everyone said the idea
        was laughable. He was too old and his record the previous season was
        poor (apparently). Then we did sign Murphy and everyone was saying it
        was a pointless signing and he wasn’t good enough… Everyone wanted
        Ross McCormack due to his “guaranteed goals in the championship”. Well how
        have both of those situations turned out ? Now everyone wants Murphy in the team and McCormack has flopped at Villa and now Forest.

        • likelylad

          murphys record last season wasnt poor.

          He was injured for half a season but when he did play he scored a goal every other game.

          the season before he was the leagues top scorer.

          we needed an experienced championship striker who knew where the back of the net is and murphy fitted the bill perfectly.

          mitro is just too inexperienced and unproven at this level.

    • Delashio

      Agree apart from where you say franch players like to be in their own league on home turf. French players are probabilly the most well travelled nation when it comes to plying their trade in foreign leagues unlike the english who are the worst hence our useless national team.

      • Wor Lass

        I was referring to the French as a nation rather than footballers in particular. They`re like the Americans – they`ve got most of what they need in their own country so they tend to stay there and to be rather unadenturous when it comes to food and drink. As an expat in SW France, that`s my impression anyway. And remember, a lot of the “French” players abroad are from Africa originally so they`ve already made one transition.

        • Mark Potter

          Kante, Sissoko, Thuram, Anelka, Dembele, Payet, Matuidi, Mbappé, Mendy, Kurzawa, Sidibé, Rami, Zidane, Henry, Lemar, Kimpembe… All of the current French national squad or well known former French players of North/Central African APPEARANCE, but all born in France. The only current French squad member I can find is Umtiti who was born in Cameroon and moved to France as a young child. Similarly Claude Makelele born in Zaire (now DR Congo), moved to France when 4 years old. Sounds like you are racially stereotyping some French players.

          • Wor Lass

            Not intentionally, Mark. I hadn`t checked out any of the players but my feeling was that a lot of them had come from Africa to play – in France first then elsewhere. If what you say is correct then i`ve got it wrong but I don`t think that`s the same as stereotyping people.

          • Wor Lass

            And before anyone says anything, I know Cisse came to us from Germany but my point`s still the same (I think!).

          • Mark Potter

            Yes, Cisse is from Senegal. And Senegal was a former French colony so people there speak French, as was Algeria, Tunisia and some others. Being from Africa and speaking French is not the same as being from France. Just like people from former UK colonies speaking English (language) doesn’t make them English (nationality). Otherwise, we would be talking about Yedlin being English. That’s as wrong as claiming he is African because he is black. He’s American.

            The most we can say is that young footballers from African states who speak French were more likely to sign as professionals with clubs in France, than clubs in Germany, Italy, England or Spain. Just as young Australians going abroad were more likely to sign for clubs in England.

            But, FIFA rules now prevent clubs signing young players from abroad, and EU immigration rules prevent players of any age from abroad generally unless they have played at international level. Once players get to that stage, are signing on full adult professional terms, then clubs will provide translators, etc so the language barrier becomes less of an issue. And that’s why we see Cisse and Tiote (from Cote d’Ivoire, also a French speaking country) never playing in France.

          • Wor Lass

            Yes, Mark – I live in France and speak French myself but I do realise that it doesn`t mean I`m actually French so no need to be too patronising on that one, m8. I think I`ve held my hand up to being wrong on this and now I`ll get back to talking bollix about something else.

  • 1957

    I think I read at the time of his signing he took a lot of convincing to come to NUFC, he wanted to stay put but Marseille’s financial difficulties almost forced it on him. Recent interviews suggest his agent was looking for a move back to France almost as soon as he arrived.

    • Leicester Mag

      And of course having the inspirational Pep McNugget as manager made the difference

  • Wor Monga

    He was nothing more than a pawn in the money game…he never wanted to be here, and was looking for a way out as soon as he arrived…he’s a decent footballer but he certainly wasn’t the one we needed at the time, and neither it seems was this the place where he wanted to be, at any time!!!

  • Rich Lawson

    wish him well,but he wasn’t up to English leagues,ruffle his hair and he would be finished for the match !

  • Polarboy

    To be fair, if I was him I’d be doing everything in my power to keep that girlfriend of his happy, and I’m guessing she wasn’t overjoyed to be swapping Marseilles for Newcastle.

  • Whickhamrobbie

    Some youg players need time (arma a good example) others like Delle are just superstars .
    The kid never had a chance with us as mis-mangement seems to be a byword for Newcastle United .
    I am glad the Kid has showed what he is made of ,the French league is weaker than ours true but have they a manager in it as clueless than McClaren(or Pardew,or Carver)

  • Big Al 1967

    Sorry to disagree but like many before him he just wasn’t cut out for the hustle and bustle of English football. For me he had one good game (the mighty Northampton in the League Cup) and never showed anything in any other game. My lasting memory of him will be him consistently pulling out of tackles in case they damaged his hair even when they were 80/20 in his favour. Yet another duckegg signing by Carr