Sebastien Bassong has talked today about the apparent interest from Arsene Wenger of Arsenal.
Sebastien Bassong – great young player at Newcastle
We don’t even know if Arsene Wenger is interested in Sebastien or not, but it wouldn’t surprise us at all as Arsenal could do with a decent center-back and Sebastien is young – and French, so he ticks all the boxes for Arsene. Sebastien has been phenomenal this season for Newcastle, in his first season in the Premier League.
This is Newcastle’s youth policy in action believe it or not, because we bought Seb for £500K last August and now he’s probably worth at least £10M, after 7 months – not too bad a return, and one fabulous acquisition by the club. There are also other Newcastle youngsters we expect to break through sooner rather than later, and could be worth quite a bundle in a few years.
But most Newcastle fans will not want to see Bassong go to Arsenal or any other club, and it’s up to Newcastle to show the youngster that he can do well at Newcastle, and that the club is serious when they say they’re building for the future.
Even though Newcastle’s finances are under review and being put into some order by the current regime, the club still pays high wages, and if anybody deserved a big increase it’s this lad. And with sokme high wage earners like Viduka, Geremi and Cacapa moving on in the summer, it’s likely the Newcastle wage bill will be relieved significantly, for those who deserve the high wages – like this young lad.
Bassong is already a big fan favorite on Tyneside, so we don’t think the Newcastle hierarchy are daft enough to sell him, although we know many will disagree with that, and cite James Milner as the precedent. 😀
Here’s what Bassong said today to Foot Mercato:
“Newcastle want to make me sign a contract extension, indeed. I’m waiting to see what they’re going to offer me.”
“My agent quickly told me about Arsenal’s interest. But it’s not the moment to speak about it. I must be focused on my football and on the end of the season, we will see what happens then.”
“At the moment I’m 100 percent focused on Newcastle and I don’t see any reason why this would change.”
“But I would lie if I said that Arsenal are not a club I’m interested in. But many things can happen before we can speak about a transfer.”
So you can read what you will into that statement, although most journalists are saying he’s keen on Arsenal. We would point to the fact he’s 100% committed to Newcastle and doesn’t see any reason why that would change.
Seb is a very mature young man, unlike the other 22 year-old Frenchman we unloaded in January, and he seems to be one terrific young professional.
If Newcastle can survive in the Premier League this year (and that’s still an “if” right now), and the club offer him what he’s worth, he’ll be more than happy to stay at Newcastle.
But when Newcastle get a young player as good as Bassong, and playing so well in his very first season, we’d be surprised if big clubs didn’t express an interest in him.
Who wouldn’t want a player of Bassong’s character and skill in their side? As Newcastle’s youth policy matures, there will be some players we’ll need to sell, because they will not make it at Newcastle.
Look at the number of Arsenal players who started at the London club but are now at other clubs. Matthew Upson at West Ham and David Bentley at Spurs are just two examples, but Bassong is not in that category – that’s for sure.
We’d love to think Seb will stay with Newcastle, and sign a vastly improved long term contract in the summer – but he’s right to say he needs to concentrate on playing until then.
So we think he’ll stay at Newcastle and the club will ensure he’s very happy on Tyneside – just as long as Newcastle can stay in the Premier League.
That’s our thoughts on this – let us know what your thoughts are.