There was more than one surprise at Newcastle on the very last day of the January transfer window.
Charles N’Zogbia – target for Newcastle?
The big news of course was that Newcastle sold their local talismanic striker Andy Carroll to Liverpool – something we thought would just never ever happen.
But then Newcastle tried to sign a number of players in the few hours remaining in the window, and obviously were quoted ridiculous prices for each of their targets – and you wouldn’t have expected anything else.
Newcastle had got themselves into a pickle by selling Andy at the very last moment with no adequate replacement, and if another club was going to do the same daft thing as Newcastle, then they wanted more than ample compensation.
One of the players Newcastle went after was old boy Charles N’Zogbia, which could be a hint as to what Alan Pardew is thinking for the summer.
It’s obvious that with the poor form of Wayne Routledge, and the average form of Gutierrez, at least at the beginning of the season, that he wants to bring in some good wingers this summer, but we wonder if Charles would be a good buy.
We were quite pleased when the club sold N’Zogbia to Wigan in January of 2009, after then manager Joe Kinnear seemed to lose sleep over the Frenchman – or was it that he just called him N’Somnia? 😀
Charles was a decent lad on Tyneside, but he was always his own biggest fan, and it may just be that he’s matured some, since he left Newcastle, and of course we’re all a little daft when we are young.
But we were a little surprised that he wanted to return to Newcastle, which was the news at the time, because when he left Tyneside he was criticized by a lot of the the fans, and by this web-site too.
Charles is still just 24 years old, and after being at a small but good club like Wigan Athletic, he may have appreciated just how big the Newcastle club actually is, with the 52,000 gates at St. James’ Park.
Newcastle have also done so much better than expected this season, and Charles has looked very good at Wigan, and scored two good goals against Newcastle at St. James’ Park, and has often looked Wigan’s best player.
Birmingham failed to get him in a £9M deal last summer and couldn’t reach personal terms, and that could be a problem for the new Newcastle too, and reports suggest that Liverpool and Arsenal may also want to pursue the French International at the end of the season.
This is what Charles said today about Wigan:
“At the start Wigan was a springboard club for me,” “But I’ve been here two years and I want to do everything possible to keep the club in the Premier League.”
“I’ll finish this season and then look at my future.” “I have no regrets,” “I have my reasons for not going to Birmingham, who were the only club to have made an offer.”
We wonder if £9M (or more) would be a good investment in the player, or whether that money could be spent better elsewhere – but Charles is a proven PL class player, and we would be OK with it if he wanted to come back to Newcastle.
We think 23 year-old Max Gradel from Leeds United would be a better buy, but of course Max is not a proven PL class player – yet. And we also expect Newcastle to try to bring in free agent Seb Larsson in the summer too.
But if Charles does arrive back on Tyneside, it’s because he wants to be back, and he’ll be given every chance by the fans to be great for the Magpies – that’s only fair.
For the record Charles played 157 times for Newcastle with 9 goals, and has appeared 79 times for Wigan with 13 goals – he has one full cap for France so far.
What do you think about Charles possibly returning to Newcastle?
Comments welcome, but please respect the views of others.
There seems to be interest in this – so we’ll run a poll on our home page – please vote.