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Opinion

Newcastle United forgotten French signing instrumental in PSG defeat on Friday night

2 years ago
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A bit like an out of control junior Mike Ashley buying up everything he lands on when playing Monopoly.

The adult out of control Mike Ashley has had some crazy ideas when it comes to transfer policies.

The most famous/infamous being the French Connection project.

A project whereby Newcastle United were determined to outdo the Arsenal model, ending up with far more French players and/or signings from the French leagues, than Arsene Wenger.

The only problem being a severe lack of quality control with the Mike Ashley & Graham Carr model, who believed that if it was French and it moved, buy it!

One of the more bizarre/pointless ones was when they signed Romain Amalfitano.

Some fans wondering if this was another classic mistaken identity case, thinking they were signing his French international brother Morgan.

Romain Amalfitano was signed in summer 2012 from French second tier club Reims.

At the very time Newcastle needed to invest in quality to back up the breakthrough fifth place finish, Mike Ashley refused to allow any net transfer spend, meaning the ‘big’ signing was the very average £6m Vurnon Anita as well as the likes of free transfer Romain Amalfitano.

Whilst the small number of young foreign signings who are successes get all the publicity, Amalfitano was one of the vast majority of Ashley signings that prove to be failures.

Romain Amalfitano sat on the Newcastle United Premier League bench six times in 2012/13 but never got on the pitch.

On 4 September 2013, it was announced that Amalfitano had joined Ligue 2 Dijon on loan and on 1 July 2014, he signed a permanent deal with the club on a free transfer.

The midfielder has spent the next six years with Dijon, three seasons in Ligue 2 and three in Ligue 1.

This season in and out of the first team and on the bench on Friday nigh as bottom of the table Dijon hosted top of the table PSG.

Mbappe gave PSG a predictable early lead but then an injury brought Romain Amalfitano off the bench on 27 minutes.

Up against the likes of Cavani, Di Maria and Mbappe, the former Newcastle player helped lead a remarkable comeback.

Two goals in two minutes either side of half-time, giving Dijon a shock win, lifting them at least temporarily off the bottom of the table and PSG left ‘only’ eight points clear at the top.

Every player has his day, if we wait long enough…

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