Maxime Poundje is claimed to be the left-back that Rafa Benitez wants to recruit in January.
Every transfer window without fail since returning to the Premier League, Rafa has wanted to bring in a more attacking left-back to compete with Paul Dummett, then every transfer window without fail he hasn’t had the backing from Mike Ashley to do so.
The Times report that it is Maxime Poundje who is the one the Newcastle boss is going to try to get this month.
Rafa was first linked with the Bordeaux full-back in December 2016 (see below), there was widespread coverage back then, that Newcastle were looking to get Poundje to sign a pre-contractual agreement in the January (2017), which would then have seen him join Newcastle for nothing in summer 2017.
Instead, the defender signed another contract with Bordeaux and now five transfer windows later, Rafa Benitez still hasn’t got a new left-back.
Just as was written back then (see below), it is difficult to see Maxime Poundje having what it takes to come in and do a decent job in the Premier League.
He turns 27 this year and has made only 78 Ligue 1, having been on Bordeaux’ books all his professional career. In fact he has made almost as many starts at lower levels for the club’s reserves and in a loan spell at Nimes.
At the same time though, we are all fearing that nothing has changed with regards to ‘backing’ from Mike Ashley in the transfer market, so if Rafa does want to push for a left-back, he will be yet again be forced to take risks and try to find a potential bargain for little money, such as Maxime Poundje or similar.
The Mag – 18 December 2016:
Reports on Sunday morning that Newcastle are competing for the services of Maxime Poundje.
The French left-back currently plays for Bordeaux and will be out of contract in June, meaning he could sign a pre-contractual agreement in January.
The fact that the 24 year old player could/would be signed for free though, is about all that you can see as a positive in this particular transfer claim.
Many media organisations are carrying the story so hard to know where it started – but maybe it can end here!
Maxime Poundje has never started more than 14 Ligue 1 games in a season and this is when he is on the books of an average French club like Bordeaux.
In total he has only started 46 league matches for Bordeaux and indeed has appeared almost as regularly for the reserve team, making 27 appearances.
This season has seen only six Ligue 1 matches for the defender and on top of everything else has suffered from hamstring problems, including being out of action at the moment.
His international career has consisted of two appearances some time ago for the French Under 19s.
I think Newcastle fans have seen enough by now to know that even players who are regulars in Ligue 1 are very unlikely to be good enough for the Premier League or even the Championship, never mind French players with a history of rarely getting a game.