Joe Kinnear has come out today and said 22 year-old French defender Sebastien Bassong has been arguably out best defender this season so far.
Sebastien Bassong – find of the season – celebrates with Zog
The Paris-born youngster had to come to the club for a week on trial and played in a pre-season friendly at Doncaster Rovers in July, when the Newcastle fans had no idea who the new center- half was in the first half, and who was playing extremely well.
And Bassong, after impressing when given some early chances this season at both left back and center-back, has now done enough to win a regular starting place at the center of the Newcastle defense, at the expense of local lad and England Under-21 captain, Steven Taylor, another 22 year old.
Bassong’s presence, self-assurance, strength and coolness at the back have seen the Newcastle defense keep four clean sheets from the last seven matches he has started at center-back. And Newcastle fans are hardly used to this solidness in defense, that he ahs brough to the side, with his excellent partnership with Fabricio Coloccini.
And we all know what happened when he didn’t start 11 days ago, and so we’ll not even mention it.
And such has been his impact that Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear spoke to nufcTV ahead of Saturday’s game against West Ham, and praised the youngster – a lot:
“He was fantastic against Hull on Saturday and I think he’s been the find of the season,”
“Since I took the risk and put him in at centre-back against Chelsea he hasn’t looked back.”
“He’s got stronger and better as the games progress and he’s a dominant force.” “He’s arguably our best defender at the moment.”
“He’s very strong aerially and it showed against Liverpool what a big miss he was.”
“I’m delighted to have him back and it was a major plus to keep another clean sheet.”
Bassong we a terrific signing for us in the summer, and whoever scouted this lad, we hope we can get some more good young unknown players that can come through as quickly as Seb has done this season.
It certainly shows that with some good scouting we can find some good players that we can bring to the club rather cheaply.