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Laurent Schmitt claims Rafa Benitez is taking Newcastle United down the Borussia Dortmund route

6 months ago
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Rafa Benitez is changing Newcastle United’s transfer policy according to top French agent Laurent Schmitt

In an interview with the respected Get French Football News site, Schmitt points to Newcastle’s reported pursuit of 19 year olds Myzaine Maolida of Lyon and Stanley N’Soki of PSG.

The agent contrasting that with Newcastle previously ‘buying  up established Ligue 1 players such as Sissoko or Ben Arfa and others which didn’t work out.’

Then going on to suggest this apparent targeting of younger Ligue 1 players as ‘following a model closer to that of Leipzig or Dortmund.’

Obviously neither player has been signed yet, so nothing concrete to go on.

Also, it is difficult to know exactly what the ideal for Rafa Benitez would be in the transfer market, due to Mike Ashley starving him of funds.

In the past as well, the Graham Carr and Mike Ashley plan was buying up all kinds of players from France, as well as the likes of Sissoko and Cabaye, young players such as Romain Amalfitano, Olivier Kemen and Massadio Haidara were all recruited in the hope that they would vastly increase in value…

Apart from trying to survive in the Premier League this season, difficult to see any kind of a long-term plan, especially with Ashley continuing to undermine Rafa Benitez and seemingly ensuring his exit next summer.

Get French Football News speaking to top French agent Laurent Schmitt:

This year, the Premier League transfer window closes on the 9th August. How do you think this has impacted the market in general?

‘What it means is that the deals that would have happened later on in the window are being done right now. This allows the French, Spanish and Italian leagues to do their business afterwards, having already sold to the Premier League.

I think it’s a great thing for these markets, that don’t have as much financial power as the English. Standardising the date of the deadline across Europe would be a mistake as it wouldn’t allow these clubs the time to reinvest their money.

‘This is true for all of the other European leagues apart from Germany, who I’d say are the only ones whose market is not wholly dependent on the Premier League.’

Do you see a lot of big moves happening between Ligue 1 and the Premier League in these final days as a result of this?

‘There will definitely be big departures, although the definition of ‘big’ depends on the club.

For example, if Mbenza were to leave Montpellier, that would be their most valuable player gone. The same goes with Guingamp with Salibur, Toulouse with Jullien and Sangaré, or Dijon with Sliti. They would be massive losses for their respective clubs, but it would give them a great spending power in return.’

Newcastle have been closely linked with PSG’s N’Soki and Lyon’s Maolida, what do you make of this?

‘It shows that they’ve changed their transfer policy, since before they were buying up established Ligue 1 players such as Sissoko or Ben Arfa and others which didn’t work out.

Now we see that through Benitez they are targeting younger players, following a model closer to that of Leipzig or Dortmund.

This can be a good thing, as young players are likely to be more adaptable to the Premier League than the players that came before.

Even Thauvin, a World Cup winner now, struggled over there.’

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