The next expected Newcastle defensive signing may again be from France – as news from the Evening Chronicle this afternoon – is that Sam Allardyce will go after Marseilles skipper, 29-year-old Senegalese Habib Beye â€“ who we have featured on this site a number of times.
We think Beye would be an excellent signing for the club.
Apparently Habib is now on vacation and Sam will hope to finalize the deal when he returns. Hopefully, quite a bit of the spade-work on this has already been done. Beye will not only be able to play at right back but has vast experience across the back four. He will be able to act as cover at center-back and will be able to help young Steven Taylor along in his football education. It’s certainly looking like the only player who will retain his position from last season in defense is Steven Taylor â€“ the England hero of the European Under-21 tournament in Holland during the summer.
Habib Beye was born in Paris, is Senegalese and has played 125 times for Marseilles scoring 4 goals. He joined Marseilles in 2003 from RC Strasbourg – where he played 134 games scoring 8 goals and was a firm crowd favorite. He is rated a very accomplished defender in French football and stands 6′ tall and prefers to play at right back. We still don’t know if Newcastle have made an official offer for Beye â€“ or what the transfer fee might be.
Beye played in both the UEFA Cup games against United in 2004 when Marseilles went through thanks to two superb goals from striker Didier Drogba in Marseilles after the first leg at Newcastle had been tied 0-0. The season before last he also played both legs against Allardyceâ€™s Bolton Wanderers in the UEFA Cup. In that tie Marseilles won the second leg 2-1 at the Stade VÃ©lodrome after drawing the first leg 0-0 at Bolton. They were defeated 1-0 in the final that year by Sevilla.
Beye will be a great buy if we can get him â€“ but the word is still that Sam wants Sami Hyypia from Liverpool â€“ and is willing to wait until Liverpool can sign a suitable replacement. In a situation like this you would expect the deal to have already been agreed for Hyypia â€“ but maybe that’s just wishful thinking on our part. We also understand – from comments on this site – that Hyypia is not every Newcastle fan’s cup of tea â€“ but he will add further defensive experience at the back and will not be a starter. Nevertheless we still think he can do a job at the club – under Sam’s guidance.