A long interview with Kevin Keegan in this morning’s Newcastle Journal about Charles N’Zogbia.
It may be the youngster has already made up his mind to leave Newcastle, although both Keegan and Charles have said they will keep an open mind until the end of the season.
Charles N’Zogbia – we expect 21 year-old to leave in the summer 🙁
This is what Kevin said today about Charles, our 21 year old French Under-21 International:
â€œThe best way to get people to commit to a club is to convince them that there isnâ€™t a better club out there for them,â€ â€œHeâ€™s just signed a new contract, but if heâ€™s really homesick and wants to go, there isnâ€™t much we can do. All we will do is try and convince him that if he leaves he will miss out on something.â€
â€œPlayers are scared of jumping off a big ship on to a littler one, they hate the idea of missing out on something. If, at the end of the day, he still says he doesnâ€™t want to be here, and heâ€™s not saying that at this stage, then we will have to consider what to do in the summer.â€
â€œAt the moment we are pretty open minded. He said his family are in London and he wants to be closer to them, but it is our job to try and keep our best players. I personally donâ€™t think he will leave for a better club if he does go. There might be one who are above us in the league at the moment, but there isnâ€™t one with the potential this club has.â€
â€œHeâ€™s definitely a talent, he can go past people and he can excite the crowd, but heâ€™s by no means the finished article.â€ â€œBut fans love those sorts of players, who in one movement can go past two or three people with a little shift of the feet or with a burst of pace. Rest assured we will do what we can, but if he says he doesnâ€™t want to be here, we have to accept that and bring someone better in.â€
â€œCharles Nâ€™Zogbia has been compared to David Ginola, but Ginola was 29 when he came, he was very experienced. The reason he came was because he was guilty of giving the ball away on the halfway line and the other team scored and knocked France out of the World Cup.” â€œHe was never forgiven for that by the French people so we brought him to Newcastle.â€
â€œI think Charlieâ€™s got a lot of ability but itâ€™s off the cuff at the moment, heâ€™s still learning the game, but you expect that from someone so young. Heâ€™s only 21 and he hasnâ€™t got Davidâ€™s experience yet.â€
As much as we’d like to see Charles stay at Newcastle we have a feeling that he’s already made his mind up to go, and there’s not much in that case we can do to keep him, as Kevin rightly points out. Certainly the results and our displays this year cannot be helping Charles change his mind too much.
It’s a real pity if he does leave because he’s probably one of our best ever young signings when he came in August, 2004 from Le Havre. Charles arrived just before the great Bobby Robson was sacked. He immediately challenged for the first team, even though he was just 18 at the time.
Obviously the vast majority of Newcastle fans (83% in our poll) think Charles should stay and around 3 in 4 think he is worth Â£10-Â£15M or more in the transfer market. But he’s not a French International and we think Â£10M would be a good deal for Newcastle. Anything more will be icing on the cake.
We think Kevin may go after Stewart Downing of Middlesbrough, if Charles does depart, but whether we can get him to the club or not is by no means clear.
But we still hope he proves us wrong and eventually stays at the club.
What do you think about this?