Newcastle Reported Pursuing French Defender

This is our third report this morning, coming out of yesterday’s Sunday Sun, saying Newcastle are interested in a particular player.

Yohan Benalouane – 23 year-old Saint Etienne defender

This time it’s Saint Etienne center-half Yohan Benalouane who is reported to be interesting Newcastle United.

But we’d be a little surprised if Chris Hughton is really after another center-bac k, since we already have Coloccini, Williamson, Steven Taylor, Tamas Kadar and James Perch, who can all play in the center of defense.

One good thing about Benalouane is that he’s just 23 years old,  so his best years are still in front of him, on the off chance this report is true.

The lad is of Tunisian descent, born in Bagnols-sur-Cèze, France, and he’s 6’1″ tall and has played 62 times for the French club with two goals, since he signed for them back in 2007.

Comments welcome.

Written from Plymouth, England.

46 comments so far

  • estechco

    Jul 19, 2010 at 9:16 AM

    Comment #1

    Didn’t CH come out and specifically deny this rumour on Fri or Sat (together with the Lisbon striker)?

  • henok ethiopian toon

    Jul 19, 2010 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #2

    a good player …but he will probably go to lyon or inter

  • Captain Beefheart

    Jul 19, 2010 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #3

    How many defenders do we need – unless a drastic anti-KK fervour grippeth thee club and we plan to play 5-4-1 (or 6-4-0 for away games)? I reckon 9-1-0 against the big lads should thrown them…




    (note Smith is playing just ahead of the back 9 to give extra cover)

  • henok ethiopian toon

    Jul 19, 2010 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #4

    @ Captain Beefheart.. well a lot…our CB ..with the exception of Taylor and Colo…they didn’t prove them self’s in the epl…actually they got us relegated if they are good as u think they are why did we got relegated …

  • lewman

    Jul 19, 2010 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #5

    taylor and colo where the only cb’s who played that season and bassong got player of the season.

  • lewman

    Jul 19, 2010 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #6

    from what we have now i mean

  • Glenn

    Jul 19, 2010 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #7

    Hey Ed,

    Great Blog, but please switch on the British spellcheck, “center of defense”???

    I’m off for a stroll along the sidewalk now and when I get to my automobile I’ll fill it with gas and open the trunk and put in all my Aluminium, sorry Alooominum, ignore that extra I those limeys insist on spelling it with, then we’ll throw all their tea into the river again!!!

  • eltoro

    Jul 19, 2010 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #8

    We definitely need another centre back. At the moment Taylor might miss the start of the season and we’d have just Colo and Williamson. One with no prem games and one who was dreadful in the prem. Perch has never played centre back and Kadar is not ready for it, in Hughton’s eyes particularly.

    In a way it would be nice for Kadar to be 4th choice centre back but I think you need 4 you really trust. He may then be able to have some short term loans if everyone else is fit.

  • Captain Beefheart

    Jul 19, 2010 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #9


    I was only having a wee joke. I accept we need full cover in every position, and last season only proved it with our injury prone back 4 needing TWO back ups for every position. That’s OK, but as long as we remember that defence starts in the other team’s half. Our weakest displays were when we let the opposition rattle us in midfield and the back 4 looked exposed.

    However, what do you mean by….
    ‘…our CB ..with the exception of Taylor and Colo…actually they got us relegated .’???

    What got us relegated was a hopeless chairman & bunch of directors who failed to make the correct executive decisions at the right time and instead preferred to gamble with Prem status via stupid, cheapskate decisions in the wake of the KK fiasco while trying to sell the club. All this in the (mistaken) belief that we couldn’t possibly be relegated. No pattern, no direction, no certainty and no team spirit just a succession of cut-price temporary measures that Mashley will NEVER be forgiven for. Nowt to do with the 2 mystery centre backs you fail to name….

  • Sav

    Jul 19, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #10

    Well said, Beefy.

  • Captain Beefheart

    Jul 19, 2010 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #11

    One more thing that hasn’t been highlighted by Ed (if it has, Ed, I’m sorry, but it deserves a reminder) is the new Prem rules mean that our 25-man squad has to be named next month – and this cannot be altered again this year (ie until the transfer window).

    So we need to have a balanced 25 man squad, which does not allow us the luxury of passengers in any position! Cramming SJP with defenders is not going to help, it will only deprive our midfield and strike options, the maximum we need is 10 good uns!

    With 2 keepers that leaves us 13 squad places reserved for midfield and attack. So you can see why utility players are at a premium.

  • MrT76

    Jul 19, 2010 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #12

    Is it just me or does anyone else think we would do well to avoid signing any French players at all? We haven’t exactly got a good track record with them in that the ones that were actually any good, all buggered off at the first opportunity!

    Ginola, Domis, Goma, Robert, N’Zogbia, Bassong, not to mention the powerhouse that was Franck Dumas…..Of that lot, the only one I would have sold me kids to see back at St James’ was Ginola. The rest of them were whinging little toerags or just utter crap (Dumbass again)!


  • ronaldeano

    Jul 19, 2010 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #13

    Beefhart, well said mate

  • MrT76

    Jul 19, 2010 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #14

    Forgot to mention Sibierski. God love him, at least he tried, but still ultimately falls into the crap camp.

  • MacToon

    Jul 19, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    Comment #15

    Lol Capt Beefheart, you’re on a roll today. Seems that since the world cup some of our U.S. buddies are now soccer experts 😉

    Seriously though we just have to wait and hope that CH addresses the shortages we have in certain areas and strengthens the team appropriately and Ashley must back this manager and give him a chance to succeed in the prem.

    Utility players can be very useful as you say.

  • slazberger

    Jul 19, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #16

    on the 25 man squad, i may be wrong but i think players under the age of 21 dont count towards this figure. can anyone confirm?

  • MacToon

    Jul 19, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #17

    slazberger, yeah there are some details like that about “home-grown” players etc.

    Would be good to know the exact rules……

  • DanNUFC

    Jul 19, 2010 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #18


    yeah i think thats right that players under 21 dont need to be registered in the 25 man squad, but im unsure if they have to have been trained by the club for a certain number of years.

  • slazberger

    Jul 19, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #19


  • Captain Beefheart

    Jul 19, 2010 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #20

    In fairness to Ed he has mentioned this back in June…

    “As of next season clubs will be required to have a squad named of up to 25 players, of which no more than 17 can be over the age of 21 and not home grown.”

    “The definition of home grown is trained for three years under the age of 21 by somebody in the English and Welsh professional system.”

    “Clubs will have to declare their 25 at the end of August when the window shuts and then again at the end of January.”

  • Partizan

    Jul 19, 2010 at 1:23 PM

    Comment #21

    He looks like Gregory van der Wiel in that photo

  • slazberger

    Jul 19, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    Comment #22

    thanks Captain Beefheart.

    so if undersand this players like vukic and ranger dont have to be included in the 25 man squad and can still play because their under 21.

    although they probably will be named as our squad is quite small compared to many.

  • Captain Beefheart

    Jul 19, 2010 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #23

    So, folks, it’s a lot tougher than it seems at first glance. The u21 players have to be part of the core 25. It doesn’t hit you first time, but at this point we start seeing how these rules really means how important to get the right player as there can be no passengers as in the (recent) past. Injury fakers and general Owen-esque malingerers (hi, Xisco) would only be taking up crucial places, so we need to be HARD!

  • eltoro

    Jul 19, 2010 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #24

    Brian Laws has said he doubts Forster will go to Burnley because of an injury at Newcastle.
    Did Harper or Krul pick up a knock on saturday?

  • Captain Beefheart

    Jul 19, 2010 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #25

    Slaz, our posts crossed. Actually it means that we have to include Vukic, Ranger et al in our 25 man squad. In all (at least) 8 players of the 25 have to be u21 & home grown. btw, these quotes are from Mr Scudamore.

    Hope this clears it up,

    Cheers, Beefy

  • slazberger

    Jul 19, 2010 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #26

    yeah the bit i read was from ed in the link, not mentioned by Scudamore. like i say our squad isnt that big anyway, but i agree we cant have players taking up places and wages from our own young players.

  • slazberger

    Jul 19, 2010 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #27

    i know this is nothing new, but the fact its on skys website may mean its close.,19528,11678_6270144,00.html

  • MacToon

    Jul 19, 2010 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #28

    J Cole to L’pool.

    So 17 players places in the squad are vital, so imo the likes of Smith could be taking up valuable places. 2 of the 8 of the home grown players taken up by keepers?

    I understand why they have implemented it but that doesn’t mean it’ll work. Hope CH has a better idea than me 😉

  • mattnufc

    Jul 19, 2010 at 4:10 PM

    Comment #29

    We need a right back. Simpson, Perch and Raylor are not good enough for the Prem. We need quality over quantity, look at our left back!

  • Captain Beefheart

    Jul 19, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #30

    Slightly off topic, but interesting. CH won’t let Big Bren go to Burnley unless he starts as no1 choice. Whichever boot the foot’s on this is interesting, as if we borrow players (like PVA last season or Cleverly next month if reports are true) we have to re-adjust the pecking order to suit – with the loanee’s club calling the shots. With temp injury cover signings (such as PVA) this isn’t an issue, but over half a season or more it could cause issues with a youth feeder system.

    The new ’17+8′ rule could also have the effect of effectively dividing clubs into ‘lenders’ or ‘borrowers’, and I can see this having implications for effective development of youngsters with it sharpening the divide between rich and poor clubs, not narrowing it.

    ‘Neither a borrower nor a lender be…’ some bloke once said, maybe he’d had a sneeky preview of Scudamore’s plans?

  • haydn4newcastle

    Jul 19, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    Comment #31
  • Newutd

    Jul 19, 2010 at 5:05 PM

    Comment #32

    Hm. Didn’t know Haydn..

    Well, if he wasn’t good enough.

  • G

    Jul 19, 2010 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #33

    According to the club website, he (Tozer) is still contracted until 2013? Not that I am bothered like, from what I have seen he doesn’t look like a good prospect.

  • Shearer

    Jul 19, 2010 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #34
  • eltoro

    Jul 19, 2010 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #35

    I just saw that about Tozer as well. Another of Wise’s signings that wasn’t up to scratch. Along with Zamblera, Baheng, Spear etc.
    Vuckic and Kadar look the business so I guess that will make up for it.

  • baro

    Jul 19, 2010 at 5:33 PM

    Comment #36

    He is a pretty good defender from looking at his youtube clips. Solid at the back. Has speed and knows when to go after the ball. He would be really good for us but we have S.Taylor, R.Taylor, Colo, Enrique, Kadar, Williamson, D.Simpson, Henderson. I shouldn’t even mention Williamson and Simpson becuase they are full of 5h1t.

  • baro

    Jul 19, 2010 at 5:58 PM

    Comment #37

    Haris Vuckic better get more chances. Along with Ranger.

  • toonboyjake

    Jul 19, 2010 at 6:58 PM

    Comment #38

    ben tozer hasnt been released but has gone to leyton orient, im guessing on loan but not 100%

  • howay man

    Jul 19, 2010 at 8:24 PM

    Comment #39

    miles addison remember that name?

  • Shearer

    Jul 19, 2010 at 8:38 PM

    Comment #40

    Yeah I do Howay Man….Why? o.O


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