Sky Sports have run an interesting piece, which identifies three attacking players from overseas who would be perfect targets for the best Premier League clubs this summer.

Julian Draxler of PSG and Germany is one, along with Isco, of Real Madrid and Spain.

The third on the list if Florian Thauvin of Marseille and France, formerly of Newcastle United and Tyneside.

Plenty of signings have failed at Newcastle United, bought from home and abroad.

However, the Florian Thauvin one, was almost certainly doomed from the start.

Newcastle were only saved on the last day of 2014/15 from relegation and the ridiculous response from the failed Mike Ashley/Graham Carr transfer model, was to buy four young players from weaker foreign leagues and put the responsibility on them to turn things around.

Two 20 year olds (Mitrovic and Mbemba) arrived, as well as 24 year old Gini Wijnaldum and 22 year old Florian Thauvin.

Thauvin didn’t really want to leave Marseille but they were in such a desperate state financially at the time, he felt he had no choice but to move.

Arriving at Newcastle after the season had started, Florian Thauvin was stupidly thrown straight into the team despite having no pre-season with NUFC, and like so many past foreign signings was on a bit of a hiding to nothing.

Under Steve McClaren the team predictably struggled and after only three Premier League starts, Thauvin became a scapegoat and was dropped and never given another PL start after 19 September 2015. A young promising player arriving from abroad couldn’t have been handled any worse.

After an initial loan back to Marseille, Newcastle eventually banked around £9m back of the £14m they had originally laid out.

The last two seasons have seen stunning returns from the winger.

Marseille are third now and hot favourites for Champions League football, with Florian Thauvin the prime mover.

No wonder he is now rated in the £40m+ bracket (Mike Ashley will be gutted…!).

This season he has been involved in 26 goals (scoring 16, 10 assists) in 28 Ligue 1 matches, with 15 goals and 8 assists last season.

That makes a total over the last two seasons of 64 Ligue 1 starts and involved in 49 goals (scoring 31 and 18 assists).

Maybe Mike Ashley will give Rafa Benitez the £40m+ to buy Thauvin back this summer…

Sky Sports:

‘We asked our friends at Football Whispers to identify three attacking players expected to be on the move this summer and the shortlist was impressive: Isco, Julian Draxler and Florian Thauvin.

Football Whispers used their Player Persona model, which identifies the stars’ key in-game characteristics, to assess what each player would bring to the Premier League, as well as their Transfer Value and Transfer Index algorithms to look into the likelihood of a switch to England’s top flight.’

Florian Thauvin (Marseille and France)

Newcastle United fans would be forgiven for doing a double take after reading Florian Thauvin’s name. The winger endured a dismal six months on Tyneside, in which he made just five starts, before returning to Marseille.

But two years on and Thauvin is one of Ligue 1’s biggest stars and the driving force behind OM’s push for a Champions League spot – he’s scored an impressive 18 goals and registered 15 assists this term.

The Player Performance model has Thauvin at 86 and his displays have also seen his Transfer Value rise sharply over the course of the campaign, up to £40m. Not bad for a Newcastle flop.

The 25-year-old’s characteristics in Football Whispers’ Player Persona highlight his productivity in the final third. He isn’t afraid to take risks in possession and averages 3.67 successful dribbles per 90, but he also lays on chances for his teammates – playing 1.93 key passes per 90 – and isn’t afraid to shoot when in the right areas, with 3.64 shots per 90.

Impressively his expected goals contribution for the Ligue 1 campaign is 0.93 per 90. For a player that has played more than 2,000 minutes in the league this term, it is a staggering output.

The big issue for any Premier League side would be luring Thauvin back to England. He is completely at ease in Marseille and is on the cusp of taking the club back into the Champions League.’



  • TheNutJob

    the lad always had the skill, he needed a year to bed in at a premiership club.
    selling him back to Marseille at a loss without a sell on clause just shows how amateur Newcastle are

    • HarryHype59

      His body language indicated he didn’t want to be here. I agree on the sell on clause however. More Ashley regime incompetence.

      • StevieB

        He was on 4 times what he earned at Marseille . I bet that was tough 🤔

        • HarryHype59

          His lass allegedly wouldn’t stay in Newcastle with him! I thought he looked too lightweight and lacked pace to be a success in the EPL. He cost the club around £1m a match in transfer depreciation.

    • Wor Lass

      Exactly right – right player, wrong time.

      • StevieB

        Wrong Coach

        • Wor Lass

          And that!

  • HarryHype59

    It doesn’t matter how good Thauvin has been in the weaker French league. He was woeful for us and didn’t want to be here. He cost NUFC a million pound a game in transfer depreciation.

    • Wor Lass

      He showed enough for me to think he had potential and I was very disappointed when he went. He was a young, inexperienced kid suddenly away from home and not physically ready for the PL. He needed a longer settling in period and a lot more gym work. With the younger crew we have now and a manager who won`t rush things he could have been a big success. Lots of players come from the “weak” French league and do really well over here.

      • Mark Davies

        Fully agree mate. Was canny at man u away and a toe nail away from scoring.

        Threw in at the deep and and lets not pretend it was all McClarens fault. As usual a heck of a lot of our fans were on his back even booing the lad sometimes.

        Mind his attitude wasnt acceptable but as we all know he just didnt want to be here.

        All in all probably shouldnt had been bought in the first place but should have been given more time imho.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          Yes, he came on and nutmegged one of theirs and he was right in front of us as he was so close to marking a great introduction to the league. It was a good performance at Man U too, the turning point was next away game at West Ham, they did a number on him and he got a lot of stick.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        Exactly, we managed him appalingly. His rather delightful girlfriend got abused by a load of fans on an evening out and from then on, she wanted to go ‘home’.

        • HarryHype59

          He was yet another woeful Carr signing! His stats at our club were dreadful for a player costing £13m. Cabella was a better prospect in my view and just needed a second season in the EPL.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            He was only here for 6 months, he’s a very good player, as was Cabella. Both maybe arrived here too soon or at least not in a strong enough team. Cabella was supposed to fit in to Cabaye’s place but was not as strong as Cabaye.

          • HarryHype59

            He may be good in the French league. However he was utter garbage for us in the EPL.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I only saw him at man u and West ham, he looked good at man yoo but poor at West Ham. He hardly got a game after that. To label him garbage is jumping the gun. Which games did you watch him in Harry?

          • HarryHype59

            Sheff Wed in the league cup and Villa at home! He was poor in the SW game but was better against Villa. He never looked like a £13m player in either match!

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I think two games in a new team, country and league is a little early to judge.

            I’m certain he will be back in one of the stronger leagues and will do well.

          • HarryHype59

            Early to judge…ffs…What part of “flopped” don’t you understand? NUFC lost at least £4m on him. He made five EPL starts and lasted half a season before he was loaned/bombed out!

            I don’t care if he ends up at Real Madrid. He was absolutely sh*te for this club! No amount of historical revision can hide this fact.

          • HarryHype59

            I know you like to create an alternative reality …but howay man! He was absolutely woeful for this club. This is why he didn’t last half a season.

          • HarryHype59

            “He was only here for six months”

            You have just answered your own question as to why he can be regarded as a flop!

  • robbersdog

    Thauvin’s Newcastle career was ruined by McLaren; he was thrown straight into the first team, and then when he was still getting his Premier League bearings, he was dropped – only to be intermittently recalled or used as a sub, sometimes out of position.

    We ended up losing not only a very good player, but also a very valuable one too. Thanks Steve, you complete a*se.

  • ghostrider

    No point moaning over spilt milk. There’s many more than Thauvin that’s passed us by just like there’s many players that’s passed many clubs by.
    Debruyne for Chelsea as well as Salah and many many more for them as well as every other club.

    Some players hit it off and some don’t.
    Some players are lucky enough to adapt quickly to a system they’re comfortable with while some come into a system that’s alien to their game.

    Thauvin looked too lightweight for the premier league at the time. Maybe he could hit the ground running this time.
    When you pay good money for a player you do it because you believe the player can do a job for you and not be wrapped in cotton wool until they settle.

    Deep end job and tread water until you quickly learn to swim….or drown.

  • Mxpx

    Thauvin and cabella were both an example of how to not manage a player cabella was actually turning things around when the plug was pulled on him too I’m sure thauvin would have been a great addition to the team if he’d been given a chance I’m not sure the scouts got it wrong on these two as much as we like to blame Carr in terms of thauvins career us giving him back to marseille was no doubt the best thing for him… Makes you wonder what potential some of our players really have

  • thewildchimp

    I do wonder what was the “we buy young foreign players” policy about, if we never take the necessary time to develop them…

  • fistsofsteel2

    I always thought Thauvin looked like he would come good. It seems to happen to a lot of players at Newcastle – they’re poorly managed, not given a proper chance…….or those who manage and run the club couldn’t recognise a decent footballer for toffee.

  • Cuh

    “Thauvin didn’t really want to leave Marseille but they were in such a desperate state financially at the time, he felt he had no choice but to move.”

    I wonder how reliable this is. Unless he’s a friend of the family of course

  • StevieB

    I always wonder “what if” Ben Arfa was handled properly??
    I loved watching him . Only player I’ve seen with arguably more skill and ability was Ginola .

  • Philippines

    Putting the football aside, any young man from sunny climes will be set aback by the North-East weather I think, also the fact that he can’t understand the “English” they speak in the toon.